Madelaine Dickie will start work on a new novel after nabbing two grants that will take her to Mexico on an international writing residency

Fremantle Press author and City of Fremantle T.A.G. Hungerford Award winner Madelaine Dickie is on a winning streak. She was the only Western Australian writer to receive a Copyright Agency grant this year and has secured a writing residency in Mexico.

The announcement comes shortly after it was revealed that Madelaine had been named as one of five Western Australian writers to be shortlisted for the Fellowship Award as part of the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.

On the Premier’s Book Award Fellowship, Madelaine said, ‘I don’t dare to think what this could mean for my work! As it stands, it’s a joy and a privilege to simply make the shortlist.’

As well as receiving the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund IGNITE grant and a substantial grant from the WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Madelaine has also obtained a place through Arquetopia Foundation for their International Artist Residency just outside of Oaxaca City in Mexico.

Madelaine said, ‘I’m desperate for that space to be lonely – the kind of lonely that only writing fills. It’s my hope that the residency in Mexico will offer an intense, concentrated period during which I can wrestle out a complete first draft of the book. It’s a luxury to be able to write full time, and I am so grateful for the funding that I’ve received that will give me this opportunity.

‘My new novel will be a dark, surf-noir crime thriller set in Western Australia and Mexico. At this stage, it’s about surf localism and violence – the story hinges on how far the locals in a small WA community will go to guard their waves from outsiders. It also reimagines the Narcissus myth on the Ningaloo coast … Instead of peering into the pool, the characters peer bewitched at the tiles of their own Instagram feeds. The story will spin around a young Mexican woman who is brutally murdered for posting a video of a secret, sublime wave on Instagram …

‘As well as writing, I’m eager to use the time to binge on Mexican crime fiction, read up on traditional Zapotec legends, check out the fabled Puerto Escondido on a maxing swell, visit Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul, and absorb a myriad of rich sensory details that might be reimagined in fiction.’

Eight authors and three artists have received a share of $46,440 from the IGNITE grants program. The grants range from $1,900 to $5,000, and support the recipients through structured mentorships, residencies and study, some of which involves international travel.

Madelaine won the 2014 City of Fremantle T.A.G. Hungerford Award for her debut novel, Troppo, which has since gone on to be shortlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award and the Barbara Jefferis Award, both in 2018. Her second novel, Red Can Origami, will be published by Fremantle Press in December 2019.

Troppo by Madelaine Dickie is available online at and at all good bookstores.

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