The Fogarty Literary Award shortlist has been announced with three young Western Australian authors making it to the next round

Michael Burrows, Rebecca Higgie and Emma Young are still in the running for one of Australia’s newest and richest literary awards for young writers.

The Fogarty Literary Award is a biennial prize awarded to an unpublished manuscript by a Western Australian author aged between 18 and 35 for a work of fiction, narrative non-fiction or young adult fiction. The winner receives a cash prize of $20,000 and a publishing contract with Fremantle Press.

The inaugural Fogarty Literary Award shortlist is:

Where the Line Breaks by Michael Burrows

The History of Mischief by Rebecca Higgie

The Last Bookstore by Emma Young

Michael Burrows BLOG  jessica higgie crop  emma young

Fremantle Press children’s publisher and Fogarty Literary Award judge Cate Sutherland said whittling the list down to just three authors was a difficult and at times fraught task.

Cate said, ‘We had the luxury of a very strong list of contenders to choose from but ultimately Emma Young’s The Last Bookstore, Michael Burrows’ Where the Line Breaks and Rebecca Higgie’s The History of Mischief were the three manuscripts that delivered in terms of narrative power and writing talent, and which we felt most passionate about. But they came from a very impressive longlist and each of the longlisted authors shows great potential.’

Cate said The History of Mischief is about dealing with grief through the power of stories. A magical book filled with tales from the past helps two sisters rediscover happiness in the present. She said, ‘The Last Bookstore is a modern romance in which a community rallies to save Perth’s last remaining bookshop. It is very relatable to anyone in the book trade and an affectionate homage to readers everywhere. In Where the Line Breaks, an aspiring academic argues the case for the identity of The Unknown Digger, a soldier poet who wrote about Gallipoli and the Great Ride through the Middle East. Meanwhile in the footnotes, real life impinges as Matt tries to juggle increasingly challenging romantic and academic issues.’

Michael Burrows is a 30-year-old author and poet from Nedlands who has had short stories published in various literary magazines, and recently completed his Masters in Creative Writing in London. Emma Young is an award-winning, 33-year-old digital journalist for Nine’s WAtoday, specialising in science and environment, urban planning and development, and social affairs. Her six WA Media Awards include the 2018 Matt Price Award for Best Commentary. Emma was selected for the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre 1st Edition Retreat, and for the inaugural Four Centres Emerging Writers Program for 2018 to 2019. Rebecca Higgie is a 32-year-old writer who fosters childhood literacy as the Library Officer at Guildford Primary, WA’s oldest public school. Formerly an academic at Curtin University and Brunel University London, her creative works have appeared in publications such as Westerly, Stories of Perth and Australian Love Poems.

The inaugural winner of the Fogarty Literary Award will be announced by Annie Fogarty as part of the next Fremantle Press Great Big Book Read at ECU’s Spiegeltent, at 6 pm on Wednesday 22 May 2019. Tickets are free but places are limited. RSVP to the event on Eventbrite or by emailing

The Fogarty Foundation was established by Brett and Annie Fogarty in 2000 to support and provide educational and leadership opportunities for young people across the spectrum of the Western Australian community. As well as partnering with a range of organisations, the foundation has initiated its own programs that include the UWA Fogarty Scholarship Program, CoderDojo WA and Fogarty EDvance.

Books discussed
Where the Line Breaks
The Last Bookshop
The History of Mischief

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