Bendigo locals Ben Iser, Julia Birch and Katerina (Kit) Hanzl set up Benjamin Jay Books in November 2017. Formerly at Living Quarters in Strathdale, from April 2019 they have been based at Plumes where they continue their love of books – particularly the uncommon, hard-to-find, out-of-print, quirky and the collectable.
Ben has been dabbling in the book trade as either manager or co-owner for almost 20 years, having worked in Melbourne’s largest bookshop and now Bendigo’s smallest. He also writes and edits and has been published.
Julia is a published freelance editor, writer and researcher of many years, with an additional background in newspaper advertising in the UK and Australia, and journalism here in Australia. She is also a published poet and has a WordPress site for her writing.
Kit recently finished her Master of Publishing and Communications, having completed an internship with Affirm Press in Melbourne, and is currently undertaking another at The Melbourne Writers Festival. She has spent the past seven years writing a series of fantasy novels which she hopes to one day have published, and is also interested in graphic design.
Benjamin Jay has an eclectic range, Ben focussing on speculative fiction, music, military, science and graphic novels, while Julia is interested in fiction, poetry, children’s and vintage collections. They are both interested in a wide range of non-fiction, young adult fiction, philosophy, Australian and world history, as well as local authors. Kit keeps her eye out for new stock in Melbourne and manages Benjamin Jay’s social media accounts as well as Plumes Emporium’s Instagram account, and assists with Plumes’ website.
The stall also carries a variety of DVDs and a beautiful range of art postcards, artwork and numerous other small ‘finds’.
Benjamin Jay supports local writers and poets, and are happy to provide shelf space for local authors’ works. All three are also able to offer a range of professional writing and editing services.