Welcome to June, everyone. I feel as if my feet have barely touched the ground these past few weeks. The team here has been airborne as often as not – both literally and figuratively.
We had 21 events in May including three book launches, four festivals, four conferences, one party and numerous author talks and workshops. Thank goodness for Dot Wilson who joined Fremantle Press as the new events and communications coordinator last month. Dot is one of WA’s most experienced event managers and we are lucky to have her.
There were plenty of event highlights in May. Between us we’ve pitched books to publishers and producers in the USA, UK, Europe, South-East Asia, India, North Asia and Australia – and the response to our titles and to Western Australian stories in general has been very positive. I presented to the Penguin sales team, to visiting international publishers at Sydney Writers Festival and to movie producers at Vivid Festival. I also met with some very supportive Sydney booksellers – more on that next month – and had the pleasure of seeing Robert Drewe giving the keynote address at the Fremantle Heritage Festival.
Children’s publisher Cate Sutherland represented Fremantle Press at this year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia Conference and was on hand to see Sister Heart shortlisted for a CBCA Award. Marketing and communications manager Claire Miller was at the English Teachers Association of Western Australia’s conference with titles from Fremantle Press and Magabala Books – a partnership we’re very proud of. She has also just returned from the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore where she presented our books to international publishers and agents as well as to Disney and Nickelodeon. While there, Maria Alessandrino of the Perth Writers Festival and Denise Tan of Closetful of Books helped us launch Can a Skeleton Have an X-ray? by Kyle Hughes-Odgers and Pandamonia by Chris Owen and Chris Nixon. Both were a huge hit with audiences in Singapore – which brings me to more exciting news.
The rights to Pandamonia have been purchased by Abula Press in Taiwan, and Hachette-Phoenix Cultural Development in China has purchased the rights to Can a Skeleton Have an X-ray? The Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Press has purchased the right to publish In Love and War by Liz Byrski in China too. In Europe, David Whish-Wilson’s Old Scores has been sold to Suhrkamp Verlag in Germany, and Peripheral Light by John Kinsella will be published by Aleph Klub in Albania.
As always, it is a pleasure to represent local creators and to play our part in making sure WA literary culture gets the attention it deserves. It’s almost the end of the financial year so this is a gentle reminder that Fremantle Press is a not-for-profit publishing house – meaning every dollar we make goes back into sharing our unique local stories. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible and we are always grateful for every dollar received so please consider lending a hand.
Best wishes, Jane