Winner of the inaugural Fogarty Literary Award has been announced

Como resident Rebecca Higgie has been announced the winner of the inaugural Fogarty Literary Award for her manuscript The History of Mischief. The Fogarty Literary Award is a biennial prize awarded to an unpublished manuscript by a Western Australian author aged between 18 and 35 for a work of fiction, narrative non-fiction or young adult fiction. Higgie won a $20,000 cash prize from the Fogarty Foundation and secured a publishing contract with Fremantle Press.

Higgie said she’d been working on her winning manuscript on and off for twelve years during which time she completed a BA with honours, was awarded a PhD, taught at Curtin University, did a post-doctorate in London, got married and fell pregnant.

Higgie said The History of Mischief is about the many things we do to try to escape grief, and the stories we tell in order to protect ourselves and those we love. In her novel for younger teens, Jessie and Kay lose their parents in a car accident and, unable to stand the memories in their family home, move to their grandmother’s house in Guildford. There they find a mysterious book hidden beneath the floorboards – a book of magical stories that inspires younger sister Jessie to random acts of mischief.

When announcing the first winner of the biennial award, Executive Chairperson of the Fogarty Foundation, Annie Fogarty AM, said Rebecca’s manuscript was exactly the type of book she herself would have been drawn to as a young reader. She said, ‘We are absolutely delighted by the response to the award and the calibre of the entries we received. We believe Rebecca’s originality, her tenacity, and her love of libraries and reading means she’ll make a wonderful literary leader. We hope her story will inspire other young Western Australian authors to maintain faith in themselves and their writing so that they too can tell their stories.’

For more information about the Fogarty Literary Award and Rebecca Higgie’s winning manuscript The History of Mischief, see Fremantle Press.