Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe reads from her story ‘Healing Songs’,

published in Campfire Satellites; an inland anthology (2019).  Video made by P. Raftos.

We called this press Running Water Community Press because water makes everything grow. People grow from knowledge and when we tell the truth, our spirit grows. Truth-telling lets our spirit flow free, like clear running water. Everything needs to be transparent, clear to see. 

Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O’Keefe, Warlpiri Kaytetye author

Chairperson of Running Water Community Press

We are a not-for-profit community-controlled publisher run by our authors and other local writers in Mparntwe/Alice Springs. We are the only independent publisher in the NT and we are currently working toward becoming the first author-run publishing cooperative in Australia. We centre First Nations storytelling and truth-telling from remote areas and are committed to a range of copyright justice initiatives from repatriation of stolen stories to building greater protections for First Nations storytellers and their Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property rights.

We work in partnership with a number of local and national organisations including NT Writers Centre, Akeyulerre Healing Centre, BLACKBOOKS a division of Tranby Aboriginal Cooperative, Arts Law and the First Nations Australian Writers Network. Our titles are distributed by NewSouth Books to hundreds of outlets nation-wide as well as in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Our titles have previously been showcased at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest publishing industry event in the world.

Running Water Community Press began as a local writers group in the 1990’s and operated under the name of Ptilotus Press from 1996 until 2021. To see the titles we released on the Ptilotus Press imprint, please click here (some are still for sale). We don’t just receive manuscripts upon completion but we are often involved in supported writing processes and the development of bodies of work. We build close relationships with our authors and community, to which we are accountable. These relationship-centred collaborative processes are essential to participatory publishing. Contracts are tailored to the needs of authors and we prioritise channelling resources back into community.

At present, our press relies on the in-kind work of our members, donations from supporters and project grants. Funds from book sales are put back into publications and our local literary community. We regularly support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation through providing our titles at a discounted rate to the Book Supply program. All contributions to Running Water Community Press are tax-deductible. If you would like to support our work, see the options here. 

If you would like to join our press and be a part of our collective work, contact Olivia Nigro on +61 405 406 731 or