The Month(s) That Was - A Fogarty Shortlisting, Lots of Books, and Some Exciting News on the Horizon

 (I do most of my updates over on Instagram these days)

Photo by Ryan Gibson photography, courtesy of Fremantle Press

In early May I found out that I was one of six writers shortlisted for the Fogarty Literary Award, administered by Fremantle Press, and so ensued a long month of waiting and publicity opportunities. The manuscript I was shortlisted for was 'The Dreamers' - a few of you won't recognise the name because the book has been known as 'Between The Sleepers' right up until pretty much the moment I began filling in my entry form for the competition. I've been working on this book on and off since 2008 (!) and it was extremely gratifying to see all those years of hard work pay off as the team of judges from Fremantle Press selected it out of the pool of entries. 

I was shortlisted alongside five other talented local writers, all working across different genres and I look forward to reading each of these books in the months/ years to come. (Congratulations to Katherine Allum (winner!), Karleah Olson, Patrick Marlborough, Joshua Kemp and Prema Arasu - we did it!)

The Awards night itself was a beautiful, freezing, and somewhat tense affair which took place in the Edith Spiegeltent. I spent most of the night in the 'green room'/ writer's booth with some of the shortlisters and some Fremantle Press writers, as we all felt our nervousness together. We listened to readings from several Fremantle Press authors (some of which were new releases and one hadn't even come out yet) and then the six of us were presented with our certificates. As my name was called, I felt my heart warm as I heard the cheers of my friends and family in the audience. My friend Jess even did a video call with some of my writerly mates who were unable to be there in person. 

Photo by Ryan Gibson Photography, courtesy of Fremantle Press. 

As soon as the night was over, I suddenly realised how cold and hungry I was! I'd been so nervous throughout the whole night that I'd been unable to eat a thing and my coat (with its pockets full of snacks) had been abandoned in the green room. It was back to reality for me!

So what else has been going on for me this year? I've been re-writing this book for most of it, as well as working full time in the library. I chaired an event at the Perth Writers' Festival this year and have been trying my best to get to as many writerly events as I can, as I always feel so much more creative afterwards. 

On the book front, I'm still reading a lot but not as much as I'd like to! Some of my 2023 favourites so far are:

- The Rat Catcher by Kim Kelly

- The Bookbinder of Jericho by Pip Williams

- Duck a'la Orange for Breakfast by Karina May

- Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby van Pelt 

I've been reviewing some of my recent reading for The AU Review, and you can check out all my reviews here. 

I hope to have some exciting book news to share with you all soon, so stay tuned!