Byron Writers’ Festival

Last month at Maitland Indie Festival I had the great pleasure of launching our third book, ‘The Man’s Machine’, with the wonderful Debbie Lee of Ingram publishing.

Our double act was such a success that we’ve now been put on the program for the much larger and more prestigious Byron Writers’ Festival in early August, alongside such renowned figures as Julia Baird, Bryan Brown, Andrew Denton, Richard Flanagan, Kerry O’Brien, and Malcolm Turnbull.

Debbie and I will be discussing my work as part of a 2.5-hour workshop on self-publishing. In Debbie’s words: “I can’t think of a better cause, not to mention a better read, than the ‘Sisters for Sale’ series to showcase the merits of indie publishing.”

Pre-pandemic ‘Sisters for Sale’ was winning awards at film festivals around the world, and it’s fantastic to now be emerging from that fog as part of Australia’s largest regional writers’ festival! A huge thank you to Debbie for making it all possible.

Merrilyn Bajelis

At Maitland Indie Festival, I had the great pleasure of surprising my primary school librarian, Merrilyn Bajelis, with the news that I’d dedicated the book to her.

Merrilyn was tickled pink, and told her family they had to behave themselves all day so that her wonderful feeling wouldn’t be spoiled – then she disappeared from the festival before I was able to give her a copy of the book!

I went to visit Merrilyn with the book afterwards. She was delighted by the message I’d written for her – “I can die now,” she said. (Please don’t!)


We posed for a few photos together but my favourite was this candid shot, taken while we were arguing whether I was too tall or she was too short for the photo 🙂

Ben and Merrilyn

Beresfield screening

For anyone in the Beresfield area, our multi-award-winning ‘Sisters for Sale’ documentary will be screening tomorrow evening – Friday 25th June – as a fundraiser for the Girls Guides. You can find more details and tickets here

‘Sisters for Sale’ books, film, and podcast

If you haven’t yet checked out our ‘Sisters for Sale’ books, all three are now available as both paperbacks and ebooks via our website, and you can read an online preview here. The ‘Sisters for Sale’ documentary is also currently available online for viewers outside Asia.

I’m constantly surprised to hear that people are still finding us via the ‘Sisters for Sale’ podcast, which was shut down during the pandemic and which we haven’t promoted in over twelve months. The first season is essentially an audio version of our first book, ‘Every Stranger’s Eyes’, and you can check it out here on Spotify, or your favourite podcast platform.

Big things are happening – stay tuned!

– Ben 

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