We have been so lucky in WA. We began 2021 with such optimism. Our hard border was softening, and with such a long run without any community coronavirus infections, the new year promised a return to some kind of normalcy.
So, with our first serious lockdown and devastating fires challenging us – all in the same week – we will have to rely again on our determination and resilience developed over many months of uncertainty to keep our spirits up.
So, from all of us at the Press, happy New Year and kung hei fat choi. We are all systems go with an exciting and busy year ahead.
We have a wonderful program of books planned for release, starting with How to Be an Author: The Business of Being a Writer in Australia by Georgia Richter and Deborah Hunn. As a company whose mission has always been to nurture new and emerging writers, it’s a book we take particular pride in, and it feels like all 44 years of Fremantle Press’s experience has been embedded into every page. You can see the authors in person (we hope) at Perth Festival’s Writers Weekend and Adelaide Writers’ Week (with more events to follow). You can also chat to Georgia online for the entire month of February over on the How to Be an Author in Australia Facebook group.
One of the topics I know Georgia will be keen to cover in the Facebook group is the Fogarty Literary Award for 18- to 35-year-old Western Australian writers. Entries open on 15 March 2021 and close in April. Thanks to our naming sponsor, the award is a generous one, with a cash prize of $20,000 and a publishing contract with Fremantle Press.
We have so many plans we hope to bring to fruition in 2021. We would love to bring back our annual in-person events: the Great Big Book Club Tea Party at Joondalup Library, the Fogarty Literary Award ceremony and the Great Big Book Read. But we’ll definitely be running another round of the online event series A Shot in the Dark, this time with crime writers Alan Carter, Zoe Deleuil, Lisa Ellery, Karen Herbert and Sally Scott.
In the meantime, please join me in congratulating the other Fremantle Press writers with books out this month: Josephine Taylor for Eye of a Rook, Cristy Burne for Beneath the Trees and all the contributors to Women of a Certain Rage edited by Liz Byrski.
Stay safe, Jane