Maria Papas presents: Introducing Joy Killian-Essert, one of the 2022 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award shortlisted authors

The Fremantle Press Podcast
The Fremantle Press Podcast
Maria Papas presents: Introducing Joy Killian-Essert, one of the 2022 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award shortlisted authors

Joy Killian-Essert joins the podcast to chat with Maria Papas, winner of the 2020 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award, about her manuscript, The Slow Patience of the Sea & Other Stories – an immersive and intimate collection of short stories that weaves its narrative closely with nature.

For Joy, the process of writing has been influenced by her connection with nature, making her writing akin to a spiritual practice, with most of the stories touching upon the natural world. Joy and Maria talk about the importance of accumulating little wins over a person’s writing career and how they can motivate a writer to keep going. The validation that comes from receiving recognition for writing is an important milestone for many writers, and often the point at which they recognise themselves as a worthy writer.

Joy says, ‘Just making the shortlist feels like a win. It’s such a special competition, such a highly respected competition – you never expect anything from it; it’s the pleasure of writing and the compulsion to write that makes me do it.’

On the importance for regional writers: ‘The Hungerford Award is a way of people across the state having access to the same opportunity, and gives us all equal footing; it doesn’t matter if you’re living in the city or the regions. I think it’s incredibly important.’

Topics covered

  • Drawing inspiration for writing
  • The natural world
  • The importance of opportunities like the Hungerford Award
  • Regional writers
  • Balancing another career and writing
  • The meaning of success

Books and other topics mentioned


Show notes

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

Joy Killian-Essert lives on a rural bush retreat in Western Australia’s Great Southern region and has been writing obsessively since childhood. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing at Curtin University, her short fiction began to win writing competitions, with a number of her stories published in various journals and anthologies around Australia. She was also a participant in the inaugural Australia Council’s Emerging Writer’s program.

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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