Brooke Dunnell, Patrick Marlborough and Georgia Tree each have a one-in-three chance of taking out Australia’s newest and richest literary award for young writers. The Fogarty Literary Award is a biennial prize for an unpublished manuscript by a Western Australian author aged between 18 and 35 for a work of fiction, narrative non-fiction or young adult fiction. The winner receives a cash prize of $20,000 and a publishing contract with Fremantle Press.
Fremantle Press publisher and Fogarty Literary Award judge Georgia Richter said the calibre of the writing across this year’s entries was generally high, but those who appeared on the shortlist were particularly impressive for the way in which they engaged the reader. ‘We also made the decision this year to highly commend a further five writers whose work shows great promise. These were manuscripts that were championed by individuals on the judging panel. Ultimately though, all judges agreed on the final shortlist.’
The 2021 Fogarty Literary Award shortlist:
The Glass House by Brooke Dunnell (South Perth)
A Horse Held at Gunpoint by Patrick Marlborough (Fremantle)
Old Boy by Georgia Tree (Mt Lawley)
Deadline by Alex Dook (Floreat)
As with Everything Else the End Eventually Comes by Daniel Juckes (Padbury)
The Good Daughter by Emily Paull (Subiaco)
The Horizon Events: A Veil Is Torn by Luke Winter (Kalamunda)
Mooney River by Alice Woodland (Australind)
Richter said the shortlist included one work of contemporary fiction, one work of speculative fiction and one of narrative non-fiction. ‘Each of the shortlisted manuscripts had a singular story to tell and delivered it in a compelling and confident way.’
Richter said, ‘Georgia Tree’s memoir of her father, Old Boy, is told in the first person with an immediacy that makes the reader feel they are sharing the room with a man who has borne some hard knocks on his way to redemption. The exuberance of Patrick Marlborough’s many characters can scarcely be contained within the pages of A Horse Held at Gunpoint – amidst the humour and chaos is a novel with a sweet heart. Brooke Dunnell's novel The Glass House is full of surprises. This novel begins with the failing health of an elderly father and the failing marriage of Julia, his daughter, but turns into an exploration of childhood bullying and the ways in which one woman can remake her own future once she begins to understand the meaning of her past.’
Brooke Dunnell is a writer and creative writing mentor whose short stories have appeared in anthologies including Best Australian Stories and in print media outlets such as The Big Issue. She has a PhD from the University of Western Australia and her short story collection was a finalist in the 2020 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. Patrick Marlborough is a comedian, journalist, critic and musician, and has had work published in Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Meanjin, Overland, Cordite and The Lifted Brow, to name a few. Georgia Tree has a master’s degree in international relations and national security. She works as a policy advisor and runs a feminist book club and blog.
On behalf of the Fogarty Foundation, Executive Chairperson Annie Fogarty, AM, said she was delighted to provide ongoing support for the only manuscript prize dedicated exclusively to young Western Australian writers. ‘The Fogarty Foundation is proud to play its part in supporting a vibrant literary arts community by empowering young literary leaders. Inaugural winner Rebecca Higgie has been an inspiration, using her participation in educational events to encourage more young people to read and write. We can’t wait to meet our next winner.’
The 2021 winner of the Fogarty Literary Award will be announced by Annie Fogarty as part of the next Fremantle Press Great Big Book Read at ECU’s Spiegeltent, on Wednesday 2 June 2021. Tickets are free, but places are limited. RSVP on Eventbrite (https://fogarty2021.eventbrite.com.au) or by emailing email@example.com.
The Fogarty Foundation was established by Brett and Annie Fogarty in 2000 to support and provide educational and leadership opportunities for young people across the spectrum of the Western Australian community. As well as partnering with a range of organisations, the foundation has initiated its own programs that include the UWA Fogarty Scholarship Program, CoderDojo WA and Fogarty EDvance.
About the shortlisted manuscripts
The Glass House by Brooke Dunnell is an assured work of fiction, full of well-drawn characters, an involving plot and an ultimately affirming message. In this novel, 36-year-old Julia presses pause on a fractured relationship with her husband Rowan in Melbourne in order to fly to Perth to begin the difficult task of cleaning up her father’s house and helping him to move into an aged-care facility. From the childhood friend Julia runs into in the supermarket, to the dog that she finds her father suddenly minding, to the recurring bad dreams she begins to have about her stepdaughter, this novel is full of tension, complex emotion and surprises.
A Horse Held at Gunpoint by Patrick Marlborough is a lively, funny novel from a unique and entertaining voice. This work features a large cast of quirky characters, a nostalgia for Australian childhood in the 90s, and a heroic, magic realism–tinged battle of the little guy versus the establishment. The author’s mordant social satire and affectionate observations cover a wide range of subjects including suicide, cartoons, socialism, autism, grief, ghosts, martial arts and dogs – in sometimes unexpected combinations.
Old Boy by Georgia Tree is a daughter’s story of a father’s life. Based on oral history interviews with her father, the author has found a spare and muscular way to bring alive for the reader the voice of her father, Grant. Written in the first person, the work follows Grant’s story from a dysfunctional childhood to substance abuse in adolescence, to eventual redemption in adulthood – and simultaneously provides glimpses of the life of a heroin smuggler called Charlie, whose story will be known to many Australians. This work of narrative non-fiction is placed within the context of changes in Australian politics and society as it traces the broader arc of Western Australia’s relationship with heroin, crime and business during the post–Vietnam War period.
About the authors
Brooke Dunnell is the author of the short story collection Female(s and) Dogs, which was a finalist for the 2020 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. Her short stories have been recognised in competitions including the Bridport Short Story Prize 2019 and the Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize 2017, and have appeared in The Best Australian Stories, New Australian Stories 2, The Big Issue fiction edition and other anthologies. Brooke has worked as a creative writing mentor, workshop facilitator and judge in various creative writing competitions. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Western Australia and lives in Perth.
Patrick Marlborough is a neurodivergent nonbinary writer, comedian, journalist, critic and musician based in Fremantle, WA. They have been published in VICE, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Junkee, Noisey, Meanjin, Overland, Crikey, The Lifted Brow, Cordite, Going Down Swinging, The Betoota Advocate, and "beloved other." They are a passionate mental health and disability advocate, regularly writing about their experiences with depression, suicide, bipolar, high functioning autism, and OCD. They have lived their whole life in Fremantle and spend their days arguing with their incredibly naughty dog, Buckley.
Georgia Tree (she/her) works as a policy adviser for Madeleine King MP, Labor's Shadow Minister for Trade and Resources in the Australian Parliament. She is a political activist, unionist and feminist. Georgia completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) majoring in Creative Writing in 2013. Georgia later attended the summer programme at the London School of Economics in 2019, studying Trade, Development and the Environment, which contributed to her Master of International Relations and National Security at Curtin University, which she completed in 2020. In her spare time Georgia runs a feminist book club and a blog.