It seems like only yesterday we were congratulating Holden Sheppard for winning the 2018 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award. Now we’ve already had to reprint his wonderful debut novel Invisible Boys after stock flew off the shelves in the first week of release.
The 2018 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award was hotly contested – in fact, one of our most competitive ever. We have already expressed elsewhere how delighted we are to publish shortlisted authors Yuot Alaak and Julie Sprigg in 2020 with their memoirs Father of the Lost Boys and Fixing Up and Breaking Down in Ethiopia. This week, we were thrilled to offer a contract to another 2018 Hungerford shortlister. Zoe Deleuil has twice made the shortlist so it was especially satisfying to acquire her riveting psychological thriller for the Fremantle Press list.
It’s been an exciting year for Fremantle Press as we continue to identify, contract, nurture and develop new and emerging writers. Since Holden’s win, we’ve chosen Rebecca Higgie to be the inaugural Fogarty Literary Award winner for her novel The History of Mischief; and two shortlisted entrants, Emma Young and Michael Burrows, will also publish their debut novels, The Last Bookshop and Where the Line Breaks, with us in 2021.
We are now very pleased to announce another two additions to the Fremantle Press family. Josephine Taylor from Peter Cowan Writers Centre and Mel Hall from Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre are talented writers who participated in the Four Centres Emerging Writers Program. Taylor’s The Rook is scheduled for 2020 while Hall’s Invisible Exit Wounds Anonymous (longlisted as The Shapes in the Fogarty Literary Award) is in our program for 2021.
The Four Centres Emerging Writers Program is a partnership between local writing centres and Fremantle Press, and it is funded by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. It is through collaborations such as these – with writers centres, government, philanthropic organisations, other arts bodies and writers – that we continue to strive towards our mission: to publish the best of Western Australian writing by new and emerging Western Australian writers.
The results of the last two years show that our manuscript awards are attracting high-quality entrants and are proving to be another fruitful way of identifying Western Australian talent. Early next year, Fremantle Press will open submissions for the thirtieth anniversary City of Fremantle Hungerford Award, providing another opportunity for aspiring authors to gain publication. We will also be back for a second round of seminars at our star-studded Business of Being a Writer event at the Perth Festival Literature and Ideas Weekend.
Our team works hard to provide Western Australian writers with the tools, knowledge and connections to be able to submit their work and reach publication, and we’re excited to be able to continue this into the future.