AustLit logo
Transit Lounge Transit Lounge i(A77950 works by) (Organisation) assertion
Born: Established: 2005 Yarraville, Footscray - Maribyrnong area, Melbourne - West, Melbourne, Victoria, ;
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Transit Lounge was established sometime around 2002/2003 by Barry Scott and Tess Rice: the name refers to their keen interest in both travelling and reading. In a 2010 interview with Anthea Cannon, Scott and Rice indicate that their initial rationale was to publish the travel stories of Australians who would otherwise struggle to get attention from major publishing houses. Rice records, too, that Transit Lounge was started on the spur of the moment: 'Barry and I used to work together and we were at a colleague's wedding and we just said why don't we start a publishing company - all we've got to lose is money.'

Around the same time that the press was established, Scott (then responsible for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and the Ross Trust Script Development Awards through the State Library of Victoria) was working in India with Katha, a literary organisation that provides educational services, publishing in translation, and community programs. Scott's collection of poems written during his time in Asia, Love and Wigs: Poems of Bangkok, Bollywood and Beyond (2003), became Transit Lounge's first published title.

In 2005, Transit Lounge published its first prose work, Cate Kennedy's (q.v.) Mexican tale Sing and Don't Cry. Over the next five years, the press released more than twenty-three titles, with eight published in 2010 alone. Rice admits that, as a small independent publisher, she and Scott 'tend to take on projects that [they] have a connection with, and [they subsequently] get to know the authors very well.' When starting Transit Lounge, Scott and Rice also decided to follow a different path from the brand-conscious major publishing houses by allowing each book (poetry included) to be its own entity. Thus, apart from the Transit Lounge logo, all covers are devoid of branding and more in tune with the author than the company.

The ability to hopefully continue moving forward with Transit Lounge was increased in 2009 when Scott was awarded a Copyright Agency Limited grant to meet with small independent publishers in the US and discuss the state of the industry. In a 2010 Overland article, he writes that while his fears regarding the economic viability of independent presses were dispelled, he was reassured by the initiatives of small publishers to nurture a vibrant culture of writing and reading.

Most Referenced Works


  • Further Reference

    Cannon, Anthea. 'Doing it by the Book in Yarraville.' Maribyrnong Leader 23 March 2010. Online. (Sighted: 16/05/2011.)

    Scott, Barry. 'Cult of the Book Cover, The.' Small Press Underground Networking Community (SPUNC) Notes. Online. (Sighted: 15/05/2011.)

    ---. 'Giving Writers a Voice: Barry Scott on the US Independent Publishing Scene.' Overland (Winter 2010). Online. (Sighted: 16/05/2011.)

Last amended 9 Mar 2017 11:02:02
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: