Maria Papas presents: Gerard McCann – one of the 2022 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award shortlisters

The Fremantle Press Podcast
The Fremantle Press Podcast
Maria Papas presents: Gerard McCann – one of the 2022 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award shortlisters

Gerard McMann joins Maria Papas, winner of the 2020 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award, to talk about his manuscript called Tell Me the Story, a generous and insightful personal narrative non-fiction.

Tell Me the Story is a compelling read that reinforces to publisher Georgia Richter that when a story is well told, anything is possible. Gerard’s openness and transparency weaves a survivor’s story about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his parish priest during his childhood, and  explores how trauma causes a sense of distrust and instability in someone’s life. He also talks about how writing about it relinquished control of the narrative back to his hands and allowed him to honour and validate not only his own story, but those who are affected by similar experiences.

On the subject of juggling a writing career alongside a career in architecture, Gerard says, ‘I hovered in this never-world between not feeling like an architect and not feeling validated as a writer, and so being on the shortlist for the Hungerford Award has validated that other part, which is the writer.’

Topics covered

  • Memoir and life writing
  • Sexual abuse
  • Childhood trauma
  • Feeling validated as a writer
  • Juggling writing alongside another career
  • Reclaiming authority over the narrative of your life

About the host

Maria Papas is a West Australian writer whose fiction, creative non-fiction and academic essays have appeared in various journals including TEXTGriffith ReviewAxon and The Letters Page. She holds a PhD from the University of Western Australia where she researched the ways people share narratives of illness and trauma. In 2020, the creative component of her research won the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award, and has since been published as her debut novel, Skimming Stones. Maria works as an English teacher and sessional academic, and when she is not writing or working, you can find her near the coast or with family.

Connect with Maria at, on Twitter or Instagram

About the guest

Gerard McCann grew up in the suburbs of Perth in the 1950s and 60s. He studied architecture at UWA and practised in the profession for many years. During that time he also studied English literature post-grad, worked on his writing and has been a member of several small writing groups.

Original music
‘Letter to a Daughter of St George’, from the Meat Lunch EP: Songs from Floaters. Written by Alan Fyfe. Performed by Trevor Bentley (guitar and vocals – @trevormb) and Chris Parkinson (harmonica). Produced by Blake Carnaby of Nuglife studios with impresario work by Benjamin P. Newton.

Sound engineering
Aidan D’Adhemar, Fremantle PA Hire

Produced by
Claire Miller and the Fremantle Press Marketing and Communications team

This podcast was produced in Walyalup in Wadjuk Boodja, on the lands of the Noongar people.

Books discussed

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