$12,000 writing prize up for grabs

Submissions for the 2016 City of Fremantle T.A.G. Hungerford Award are open. Western Australia’s longest running and most prestigious award for an unpublished manuscript offers a cash prize of $12,000 from the City of Fremantle and a publishing contract with Fremantle Press.

Speaking from a surf trip in the Caribbean, 2014 winner Madelaine Dickie joked that she’d considered blowing her prize money on lobsters and rum but was actually going to use it for a writing retreat.

‘You can write when you work full-time, but it’s hard. The prize money means I can buy myself some time to keep practising what I love. For me, winning the Hungerford has been the single most important event in my life as a writer,’ said Dickie.

Dickie won the award for Troppo, a work of fiction that will be published in August 2016. Set during the uneasy years of the Bali nightclub and Jakarta embassy bombings, Troppo explores Australia’s relationship with Indonesia – a theme that couldn’t be more topical.

Fremantle Press publisher Georgia Richter said Dickie wasn’t the only shortlisted 2014 Hungerford entrant to secure a publishing contract. She said Portland Jones and Mihaela Nicolescu both have books coming out in 2016 – the latter with Fremantle Press.

‘The Hungerford has been running for over two decades and is part of Fremantle Press’s mission to find and publish new and emerging Western Australian authors. That’s a commitment to local writers that hasn’t wavered in our 40-year history,’ said Richter.

Richter said the Hungerford was the only Western Australian award judged anonymously.

‘Above all, the judges are looking for the kind of story that grips you and doesn’t let you go.

‘It’s always hugely exciting to discover a new voice, and new talent, in this way,’ said Richter.

The City of Fremantle T.A.G. Hungerford Award is a biennial award that celebrates literary merit and originality, and is given for a full-length manuscript of fiction or creative non-fiction by a Western Australian author previously unpublished in book form. Past recipients of the award are Brenda Walker, Gail Jones, Natasha Lester, Jacqueline Wright, Robert Edeson, Nathan Hobby, Bruce Russell, Christopher Murray, Donna Mazza, Simone Lazaroo and Alice Nelson.

Entry forms and full terms and conditions are available from the Hungerford page. Entries close on Friday 18 March 2016.

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