Fremantle Press books shortlisted for Premier’s Awards


Five Fremantle Press titles were shortlisted in the 2008 and 2009 Western Australian Premier’s Awards amongst a much increased number of entries from around Australia.

In a media statement released yesterday, Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said record entries had been submitted following the announcement earlier this year of the widening of the eligibility criteria and increased prize money.

“I am pleased to see so many entries, which reflects a healthy literary sector in Australia,” said Mr Day.

CEO, Jane Fraser, said Fremantle Press’ long history of being shortlisted for interstate and international awards had made her quietly confident that, despite the widened pool of entries, Fremantle Press titles would make the cut.

“Poets John Kinsella and Tracy Ryan, and children’s authors Dianne Wolfer and Norman Jorgensen have all been singled out in major awards nationally and interstate but it is great to add Palo Morgan and newcomers Chris Nixon and Brian Simmonds to that list,” she said.

Those shortlisted in 2008 were, for poetry, Scar Revision by Tracy Ryan and Shades of the Sublime and the Beautiful by John Kinsella and, for young adult fiction, Jack’s Island by Norman Jorgensen. In 2009 Crocodile Cake by Palo Morgan with illustrations by Chris Nixon and Lighthouse Girl by Dianne Wolfer with illustrations by Brian Simmonds were both shortlisted in the children’s category. Mowanjum: 50 years community history by Mary Anne Jebb, which is distributed by Fremantle Press, also made the shortlist.

Tracy Ryan said she and John Kinsella were both very pleased.

“It’s our wedding anniversary today too, so that’s a nice present,” said Ryan.

Children’s author Dianne Wolfer said she was honoured that Lighthouse Girl had been shortlisted amongst such wonderful books and hoped that Western Australians featured in the winners list.

“I believe it is important to support creators of books that celebrate Western Australia’s unique history, people and landscape,” said Wolfer.

Jorgensen said he was particularly pleased that Jack’s Island had been recognised as the book was inspired by a place most Western Australians love, Rottnest Island.”

“Having plundered my family folklore, and my parents’ and grandparents’ stories for a plot, the book is much more personal than anything else I have written.”

“I am especially thrilled to be on a list that includes Melina Marchetta and my old next door neighbour in inner suburbia, Shaun Tan – I sure wish him luck and hopes he comes second,” said Jorgensen.

Due to the high number of entries, the judging panels were increased from four to six members. To be eligible, the work must have been published or produced in either the years 2008 or 2009. Authors must be citizens or permanent residents of Australia or the work must have Australia as its primary focus.

The award winners will be announced by the Premier at a special ceremony on Wednesday, 1 September 2010.


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