We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Riches and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Sometimes taking a risk leads to a big change, and for me it certainly did. I started freelance editing only a few months before launching Aniko Press, an indie publisher, in 2020 and producing my first literary magazine. That this was also at the beginning of the pandemic after I’d lost my job felt like a risk – financially, yes, but also on a personal level: what if it failed? For me, doing something “risky” in the moment often just feels like doing something difficult, uncomfortable or even impossible, but looking back has led to me doing something creative for work, something that I love, following my passions and interests, making connections and relationships I never thought possible.
When I choose pieces for the magazine, I often gravitate to those that involve some sort of risk, such as taking a risk with the style, form or content of the piece – doing something experimental or unusual or exciting. I love to ‘take a risk’ on a first-time or unpublished writer, because to me that doesn’t feel like a risk: the work always speaks for itself. I hope the magazine as a whole does too.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m the founder and director of Aniko Press, an indie publisher based in Sydney producing a biannual print literary magazine. The mag features stories, poetry and creative nonfiction by new and exciting writers from Australia and around the world. It is now on it’s third issue. I am so proud of this magazine – it is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I have always loved writing and always wanted to work with books, but for years struggled to find a place in the publishing industry. I suppose I overcame these challenges with an “I’ll do it myself” mentality and taking the leap in starting my own press has really changed my life. Alongside the mag, on our website www.anikopress.com we share book reviews, interviews with emerging writers, run flash fiction competitions and more. Meeting and supporting writers and creating a place where this creative work is valued is so important to me. I hope Aniko Press is a publisher people look to in the future that fosters interesting, exciting writing and a creative community.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Books: Berkelouw Paddington has three levels of new and secondhand books to browse, and there’s a cute little coffee shop upstairs if you need a pick-me-up.
Walk: A favourite walk of mine is to catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo and hike around the headland to Balmoral, which has great views back over the city as well as out to sea.
Picnic: A little corner I love to picnic at is Ballast Point Park. It offers a different view of the harbour than you normally see, and shows off some of Sydney’s industrial past, with lots of fun nooks and crannies to explore.
Swim: A very beautiful (and lesser known) place to swim is the Watson Bay Baths, which feels almost like a secret quiet little fishing village. You can jump off the pier and then sun yourself on the floating pontoons.
Dinner: Fabbrica Pasta Shop has delicious pasta made fresh every day, and even though the quality is like that of a high-end restaurants, the shop is casual enough that you can stop in any evening during the week (and you can also pick up fresh pasta to take home and cook)!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My teachers for their wisdom and humour. My family for their support and love. My friends for the same. Leo, my partner and ‘operations manager,’ who has pushed me and believed in me every step of the way.