Igniting Literary Excellence: Extending the Phenomenal Impact of the Fogarty Literary Award on WA’s Writing Community

June 19, 2023

The Fogarty Literary Award has emerged as an important component of Western Australia’s literary landscape, fostering the growth of talented emerging writers and establishing itself as a platform for emerging voices. Building on its remarkable success to date, the Award is thrilled to announce an extension of its partnership for another six years, encompassing three additional award cycles. Designed specifically for residents aged 18 to 35, the Fogarty Literary Award opens doors to invaluable opportunities, including a generous cash prize of $20,000 and a coveted publishing contract with Fremantle Press. Over the past six years The Fogarty Literary Award has fostered a strong community and holds great value for young writers, with the potential to represent a significant milestone in their literary careers.

 One such transformative example is the story of Brooke Dunnell, a previous winner of the Fogarty Literary Award.  In her own words, winning the Fogarty Literary Award had a profound impact on her life, providing her with confidence, a stronger connection to the literary community, and numerous industry opportunities. The Award serves as a catalyst for writers, solidifying their identities and propelling them towards future success.

The Fogarty Literary Award also goes beyond providing financial support and enabling the publication of new works by fostering collaboration and mentorship opportunities.  Shortlisted authors and winners receive mentoring and guidance from publishers at Fremantle Press, enabling them to further develop their manuscripts and refine their craft. 

The Award also encourages winners to become ambassadors for writing in WA, promoting the growth of the literary community and providing mentorship to aspiring writers.  This emphasis on collaboration and mentorship strengthens the literary community, creating a supportive environment for emerging authors.

The 2023 winner of the Fogarty Literary Award, Katherine Allum, also represents a case study in the power of the Award to draw great writers to WA. Allum’s winning manuscript, “The Skeleton House,” showcases her literary prowess and unique storytelling abilities. Her journey as a writer, began as a self-described “weird home-schooled kid”, to completing her MA in Literary Novels at City University London, before joining fellow writer and Husband Michael Burrows back in Perth, as he entered the Fogarty Literary Award.  A story in itself; Burrows was shortlisted for the Award in 2019 which led to Fremantle Press later publishing his debut novel, “Where the Line Breaks” in 2021.  This resulted in Burrows being named one of the Age / Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists in 2022. This journey in part spurred on our 2023 winner and Katherine’s recent success serves as an inspiration for aspiring writers and demonstrates the impact of the award on their careers.

Josh Kemp is another shining example. Shortlisted in the same year as Michael Burrows, his novel “Banjawarn” was co-winner of the 2021 Dorothy Hewett Award and won the 2022 Ned Kelly Award for Best Debut Crime Fiction.  More recently Josh’s novel has been shortlisted for the 2023 WA Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer and he was again shortlisted for the 2023 Fogarty Literary Award for his manuscript “Jasper Cliff” which the Fremantle Press will be developing with the aim of publishing.

The Fogarty Literary Award has also contributed significantly to the literary fabric of Western Australia by providing a platform for diverse voices and narratives. The shortlisted authors for the 2023 Award reflect this diversity, with manuscripts spanning various genres, including literary fiction, crime, young adult fiction, fantasy and historical romance. This diverse representation enriches the literary landscape and attracts more readers and writers with varied interests.  2023 also saw the number of shortlisted entries double to a notable total of six manuscripts, which are all deserving of future publishing.

The ongoing success of the Fogarty Literary Award suggests a bright future for the Western Australian literary scene. With each iteration of the Award, more talented writers are discovered, and their stories are shared with a broader audience. The impact of the Award extends beyond individual winners, as seen in the accomplishments of previous winners like Josh Kemp and Michael Burrows, both of whom went on to achieve national recognition and acclaim.

The Fogarty Literary Award has emerged as a vital force in cultivating a strong community of writers in Western Australia and the Foundation looks forward to seeing what talent will be fostered during its next six years of sponsoring the biennial Award.

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