New judges on the hunt for the next City of Fremantle Hungerford winner

Seth Malacari, Dr Marcella Polain and Richard Rossiter are the 2024 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award judges. Alongside Fremantle Press publisher Georgia Richter, they will be responsible for choosing who will win the $15,000 prize money from the City of Fremantle and a publishing contract with Fremantle Press.

Richard Rossiter, who has judged the award for over ten years, said, ‘It’s a fascinating process because it gives you a sense of what’s happening not only in the writing community, but also in society more generally: insights into the current interests and shifts that are occurring in the culture. The entries are frequently local exemplars of wider issues and concerns. The quality of the writing is consistently high across all genres, and each year I want to tell many of the entrants to keep going because there is so much talent out there.’

As in previous years, the judges won’t know who is behind the work that has been submitted, with every manuscript judged anonymously and on its own merits. Georgia Richter said, ‘We’re delighted to have three talented and accomplished judges to assess each manuscript.’

With submissions to the Award set to open on Thursday 1 February 2024, Georgia said, ‘The countdown starts today! Now is the time for Western Australian writers to revise and polish their work to ensure that it is the best that it can be. There is nothing more satisfying than finding writers like Molly Schmidt, whose beautiful novel, Salt River Road, won in 2022. We love this longstanding award!’

Seth Malacari (he/they) is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and an award-winning writer. He is the editor of An Unexpected Party (Fremantle Press, 2023) and founder of Get YA Words Out. They hold a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) from Deakin University and were the former chair of LoveOzYA.

Marcella Polain (she/her) lives on Whadjuk Noongar land. She was born in Singapore and migrated to Australia with her Armenian mother and Irish father. She is the author of Driving into the Sun (Fremantle Press, 2019) and The Edge of the World (Fremantle Press, 2008), which was shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her fourth poetry collection will be released in November 2023: The Seven-eight Count of Unstoppable Sadness (Puncher and Wattmann). In 2015, she was awarded the gold medal by the Writers’ Union of Armenia. Marcella is a Senior Lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing at Edith Cowan University.

Richard Rossiter (he/him) is a writer, editor, occasional mentor and judge for writing competitions, with a deep interest in Australian literature and supporting new writers. His most recent publication is Refuge (UWAP, 2019).

In 2024, Western Australia’s most prestigious award for an unpublished work will celebrate its 33rd year. The competition will open on Thursday 1 February 2024 and close at midnight AWST on Sunday 17 March 2024. For the full terms and conditions, or to browse books by previous winners, go to the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award page.

Books discussed
Driving into the Sun
The Edge of the World

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