An old favourite in an ingenious new format plus new news about our Hungerford alumni

Just before the summer break, we had an intimate get-together to say goodbye to our much-treasured editor and manuscript assessor Wendy Jenkins, who has retired. She is sorely missed, and I hope you’ll all take a moment to read our piece paying tribute to her four decades in service of WA literature. One of the key manuscripts Wendy worked on was A.B. Facey’s A Fortunate Life, which went on become an Australian classic and is now being shared in a whole new format.

The adaptation of A Fortunate Life by THEATRE 180 promises to be a pioneering new production combining cinema and live theatre. The season opens in February at Ace Cinemas Midland and will tour Orana Cinemas in Albany, Busselton and Geraldton. THEATRE 180 Artistic Director Stuart Halusz said, ‘Already there is a phenomenal level of support for both our concept and the subject matter of our production, with A Fortunate Life being a favourite read across generations and for audiences spread far and wide’. Take a look at the trailer and see the creative staging for yourselves!

We are back into the swing of a new year with piles of manuscripts being edited, proofed and sent off to print. It’s a pile destined to grow taller when entries into the 2020 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award close in March and our judges begin the tough but rewarding process of reading them all. We can’t wait to share the shortlist with you later this year.

In the meantime, we’ve got some wonderful news about two Hungerford alumni. We are so excited for Martin Chambers, whose book has been optioned for film and television. How I Became the Mr Big of People Smuggling was shortlisted for the 2012 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award. I loved the book and it became my white whale of sorts. I was absolutely convinced that it would make an amazing film and have not once given up hunting down that dream. So thank you to Indian Pacific Pictures for taking us one step closer. Indian Pacific Pictures is a new WA-based production company focusing on the acquisition and production of international, commercial feature films and television series. Their forthcoming project RAMS, featuring Sam Neill, Michael Caton and Miranda Richardson, will be released by Roadshow Films in Australia this year. Add to this the fact that Madelaine Dickie, our 2014 winner, has been shortlisted for the renowned Hazel Rowley Fellowship and you can see why we are so darn proud of our Hungerford authors.

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