notJack Writers’ Prize

As a nation we are defined by country, landscape and place. How fitting then that a new writing prize should be established to “support and protect iconic Australian literary¬† landscapes”.

The notJack Writers’ Prize celebrates creative engagement with place and the promotion of “the significance of place for Australian writers, their work and readership.” Welcoming submissions from all genres the prize was established to support the protection of the Moolort Plains, where Raimond Gaita’s award winning Romulus, My Father was both written and set. The film of the same name was shot on site.

It has been my great honour to be part of the judging panel this year, a process which has been both enjoyable and rewarding. Testament to the quality of the writing submitted is the divergent results from judges and it was no easy task making my final decision.

Finalists are listed on the website. Winner to be announced soon!

Information on the Moolort Plains, its significance, and the threat posed to it, may be accessed here and here.

To donate or contribute to the Moorlort Plains campaign, please email the prize at: [email protected]



While you’re indoors snuggling against the cold cast your eyes over your bookshelves and consider selling something to make room for more. We are always on the hunt for quality books in good condition and we pay fair prices for books that we need. So give us a call, or email a photo of what you think we might want to: books[at]

What do we mean by quality? At the moment we are particularly keen on, but not exclusively interested in:

Children’s Literature: such as Harry Potter!! Dahl, Puffins old and new, Carnegie Winners, Ranger’s Apprentice & Hunger Games etc. Quality picture books and board books.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Terry Pratchett!! P.K.D., Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, Iain M. Banks…Asimov et al

Adult Literature: Murakami!! Vonnegut, Brautigan, Kafka, Hemingway etc and anything contemporary and interesting!

Classic Literature: Henry David Thoreau!!

Non-Fiction: Christopher Hitchens, Alain de Botton, Edward Said, Robert Hughes and the like…

Always new releases that you started and gave up on :) and almost always the much studied -Romeo & Juliet, 1984, Lord of the Flies, To kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, Holding the Man, The Prince etc -when in good condition. Stephen King and Ian Fleming paperbacks never go astray either!


Bookshop Reviews

We are grateful to have been included, as the only second-hand shop, in the Time Out “Melbourne’s Best Kids’ Bookstores” list. This is a section of our shop that is very dear to our hearts and we both put a lot of effort into it! Selling children’s books is one of the most rewarding jobs around, it’s pure positivity, particularly in second-hand. There’s nothing so lovely as introducing a child to a new book they love, unless maybe it’s reaquainting an adult with old book they lost.

Full List Here.


Recent Acquisitions

Loads of new stock has hit the shop lately. Ancient History, Modern Firsts, Children’s Collectibles and the usual boxes and boxes of paperbacks. Special mention must be made of the colourfully illustrated Magic Flute adapted from Mozart’s last opera by John Updike and illustrated by Warren Chapman.

We also have an excellent three volume set The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians by Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson. Published in 1878 these are leather bound with gilt titling, raised bands and marbled fore edges and endpapers. All three volumes are beautifully illustrated with both black and white and colour and include fold outs as well.

On the modern first front we have just got Julian by Gore Vidal and Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman.

Other useful and interesting goodies include:

A Song of the English by Rudyard Kipling with illustrations by W. Heath Robinson

The Book in Italy XV and XVI Centuries by William Dana Orcutt (Ltd Ed. 175/700)

Life of the Bee by Maurice Maeterlinck (1908)

History of Williamstown, From First Settlement to a City 1834-1934 by William Elsum (facsimilie 1985)

Old Nurse’s Book of Rhymes, Jingles and Ditties edited by Charles H. Bennett (facsimilie 1983)

The Three Stanislaus, The Voyagers by Vera Ferra-Mikura (1966)

A pinch and a punch it’s…

Buy Nothing New Month

Buy Nothing New Month! That’s right this October we are challenged to consume less and live more. Re-use, re-purpose and recycle your way towards Christmas and you might just find that it’s a better way to live permanently!

Here’s a few sustainable options in the High Street Northcote area alone:


Dear Gladys



Grandfather’s Axe

Retro Active



Then of course there’s the Northcote and Preston libraries and the op shops and secondhand dealers along High Street Northcote, Thornbury and Preston.