About CK Printworks
Cheeky Kea Printworks, a subsidiary of The Cheeky Kea Charitable Trust, is a New Zealand-based social enterprise. We are a non-profit publishing house, dedicated to helping people with disabilities and/or socio-economic disadvantages to achieve financial liberation through careers in the arts. It is our vision that no creative soul be left behind due to poverty, and no person be let without some means of earning an income, regardless of their disabilities and disadvantages. We believe everyone deserves to live comfortably and feel like a valued member of society.
Our primary goals are:
1. To help people with disabilities and/or socio-economic disadvantages attain financial independence through the creative arts.
2. To alleviate poverty through education, by helping disadvantaged persons train to participate in the publishing production chain, and by helping them learn to break into the international freelance market.
3. To help alleviate poverty specific to the arts sector, by helping creators access the resources and information they need to reach financial and creative success.
4. To bring together communities with a language barrier and make the world a more friendly place for all.
5. To help authors who write in minority languages or are from minority communities to access the larger international marketplace, and in turn to provide readers of minority languages with quality fiction and role-models to look up to.
The Cheeky Kea Charitable Trust became a Charitable Trust on the 19th of February, 2018, and a registered charity on the 13th of July, 2018.
If you would like to help, please see the How To Help page, or read on to learn more about who we are and how we operate.
Q. Where did CK Printworks come from?
A. The Cheeky Kea brand originated as the personal brand of author, artist, and entrepreneur, V. L. Dreyer. It has evolved a lot over the years, and branched out into a few different sub-brands, one of which was Cheeky Kea Printworks. In the early days, CKP just published Ms. Dreyer's books, under her pen names V. L. Dreyer and Abigail Hawk, but in October 2017 it began the process of expanding into the entity it is today.
Q. Who are you? Are you a real person?
A. No, I am a fabulous, neon-haired robot fuelled by sass and caffeine. Just kidding, I'm a person, though that would be pretty cool. My real name is Victoria Dreyer, and I really do live in New Zealand. I am an international best-selling science fiction author with over a decade of experience in publishing. I am still fuelled by sass, but I had to kick my caffeine addiction for health reasons. It is not recommended to approach me in the early mornings just yet.
Q. Why are you doing this?
A. It was originally just for fun, something to keep me busy and feeling fulfilled during my recovery period from health issues, but I later came to realise that it could become something so much more. When I first started planning CK Printworks as it is today, I intended for it to be a for-profit business, so I put together a business plan and approached a couple of business mentors. While I was chatting away with one of them and telling her about my idea, she said, "I think you're barking up the wrong tree, Victoria. You keep talking about wanting to help people, not wanting to get rich. You don't actually want a business. You want to become a non-profit."
The more we talked about it, the more it just made sense. Writing is lonely and boring when you're in it by yourself, and I know from experience that it's terrifying when you first start out, especially if you don't have the lobes for business. I do, and I can use them to help people. I've been freelancing as a publishing assistant for quite some time, and I know how gratifying it can be. Every time I watch one of my authors crying as they hold their first book in their hands, it makes this all worthwhile. Personal satisfaction is only a very small part of my reasoning, though. There are several other, much more important reasons.
The first is very personal to me: as much as I hate to admit it, I am disabled. I have a prolapsed spinal column that makes walking very difficult, and I later developed an inner ear condition that is slowly robbing me of my balance and my ability to hear. In 2012, I was told that I was probably going to go deaf. At the time, I was working in a call centre. All I could think was, "What kind of jobs can you even do if you're deaf and have a serious spinal injury?" I found the answer to my own question through the arts, and now I have the opportunity to help others do the same.
It's not just me, though. There are people out there who need the help, people out there who dream of what I can help them do, people who may be suffering and lost in the darkness. When I was in my early twenties, back before I became an author and before self-publishing was a valid option, I met a young man who suffered from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. We talked a lot about our shared interests, and he revealed to me that even though he was bed-ridden and barely able to use his limbs, somehow he'd managed to write a book. He knew he wouldn't live to see it published, but he was so proud of that book and he dreamed that his words would outlive him. When he asked me to read the book, I agreed - and I enjoyed the story immensely! My friend passed away many years ago, at the grand old age of 25. Sadly, I no longer have contact with his family so I can't help make his dream a post-posthumous relality, but now I have the opportunity to help those who are in the same position today.
The second is also personal, but in a different way. For the last twelve years or so, my mother was working as a research assistant for another author (totally unrelated, total coincidence). In September 2016, her employer had a devastating stroke, and in the days that followed his family shut the business down. At the age of 57, my mum lost her job, her best friend, and her means of supporting herself. She was stuck without even a single reference on her resume. Due to her age, all her past employers are either dead or incapacitated. I've spent a year watching her applying for job after job, and getting only silence in return. She tried so hard not to let me see her crying, but I knew. I knew, and I hated seeing her so sad.
After a lifetime spent working, she's approaching retirement and no one wants her anymore. This smart, capable, hard-working woman has been abandoned by the society that she nurtured all her adult life. Watching her suffer made me acutely aware of the problems faced by many people as they get older. Many employers are simply not willing to hire older folks, and many of the jobs that are available to them are too physical for their ageing bodies to cope with.
There is one industry where age and physical capability is not an issue, though...
The hard part is getting started in that industry, learning the skills and avoiding the pitfalls. If I can use my experience and my vision to help others find their way into the literary arts, then we will all be better off. As of September 2017, my mum began training as a freelance editor. She's regaining her sense of self-worth as well as learning how to make money from her own business. The internet offers a vast number of opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life. As human lives get longer and the economy swings towards a more digital marketplace, there will be more and more opportunities, if you know where to find them. I do, and I can help there, too.
Q. Can I see your books?
A. Of course! My author website is here, or just head to my page on this website.
Q. Why do you have so many Polish authors?
A. Kind of a long story there, but the short version is that a friend of mine runs a Polish-to-English publishing house, and found herself with a few authors in her stable that we mutually agreed I could take better care of. The authors agreed, and here we are! That was part of what spawned my desire to help people who write in minority languages, though. I've had a glimpse into the tough and difficult publishing world my Polish friends have to deal with, and I realised that I could give them a serious leg up by helping them to break into the much larger English literature community.
Q. What genres does CK Printworks offer?
A. Our speciality is science fiction and fantasy, but we're interested in anything that's interesting and creative. At this stage, we are not taking on children's picture books, but we would consider YA.
Q. What kind of disadvantaged people do you want to help?
A. In the long term, we want to help anyone who suffers from a disability that prohibits them from working a normal job, or has a socio-economic disadvantage. The most specific kind of socio-economic disadvantages that we were thinking of when making that statement is with regards to ageism, racism, language barriers, or poverty. Our ability to help is limited in these early days due to limited resources, but we still hope to be able to assist anyone who needs help and has an interest in the literary arts.
Q. Are you a religious organisation?
A. No, we are not. We welcome people from all faiths and walks of life.
Q. I'm an author. Will you publish me?
A. Please see the Careers section of this website.
Q. I'm an editor/translator. Can I work for you?
A. Please see the Careers section of this website.