CEO Jane Fraser gets set for Christmas with loud and joyful, buzz about our books


Hello and welcome to November!

Strap in everyone, the countdown to Christmas is on! This time of year our retailers are in a tizz, our sales reps are forcing spare boxes of books into their overloaded car boots, customer service are stuffing express post envelopes and the rest of us are making loud attention-seeking noises about our 2021 books while putting the finishing touches on our 2022 plans. It’s all happening!

Amongst all the hard work, the Fremantle Press team has been buoyed by having lots to celebrate. We launched nineteen (nineteen!) new books last month and the festivities at Fremantle Arts Centre were such a joy. We love being around so many readers, watching them interact with our creators before teetering home under their large pile of new books.

What could be better? Celebrating some children’s book successes with our wonderful authors, that’s what! Kelly Canby’s Littlelight has been shortlisted for the 2021 Children’s Peace Literature Award. It’s a biennial award for children’s books that encourage the peaceful resolution of conflict or promote peace at the global, local or interpersonal level. Of Littlelight the judges said, ‘This colourful picture book uses amazing luminous colours to add to its message of the townspeople becoming enlightened about the enriching possibilities of diversity.’ The award attracted over 90 entries and the winner will be announced in the coming weeks. Fremantle Press author Fiona Burrows was also shortlisted for her works The Friendly Games and Twelve Days of Kindness

Sally Morgan’s much-awarded verse novel, Sister Heart, was recognised in the Kids Own Australian Literature Awards (otherwise known as the KOALAs). It received an Honour Award in the Fiction for Years 7–9 category as nominated and voted by the children and young adults of NSW. Sister Heart tells the story of what happened to a young girl when she was removed from her family and became part of the Stolen Generations. In accepting the award, Sally said, ‘I believe it’s important we talk openly to our young people about colonisation and the impact past government policies had on Aboriginal families and communities. Seeing Sister Heart honoured in this way by the children of New South Wales gives me great hope for the future.’

We were also delighted to receive news from the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales informing us that Backyard Birds by Helen Milroy was the winner of the Young Children’s Reader Category for the Whitley Award. Presented annually, the award is a tribute to Gilbert Whitley, an eminent ichthyologist and former Curator of Fishes at the Australian Museum. The Whitley Awards acknowledge outstanding publications that profile the unique wildlife of the Australasian region.

Congratulations to them all!

Till next time, Jane


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