Maria Papas presents: Introducing shortlisted writer for the 2022 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award, Molly Schmidt.
On today’s podcast, Molly Schmidt discusses her manuscript, Salt River Road – a beautiful and moving piece combining verse and prose – with Maria Papas, winner of the 2020 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award.
Salt River Road is set in the Great Southern region of Western Australia and follows the aftermath of a beloved mother’s illness and death. Tackling themes of overcoming grief and coping with isolation, it draws upon Molly’s own experiences and takes a raw look at the reality of losing a parent. She explains that the structure of the manuscript is unusual because of how it reflects the non-linear process of grief.
Molly also talks about her research process of forming relationships with Noongar Elders by going on Country to write a story that includes First Nations peoples. She discusses the three rules she made for herself for including First Nations representation in books without writing on their behalf. Molly says, ‘It’s not our responsibility to tell these stories, but we do need to make sure that we’re writing about the same world, and that that world does include Indigenous people and queer people and people with disabilities.’
- First Nations people
- Her research process
- Family and loss
- The writing process
About the host
Maria Papas is a West Australian writer whose fiction, creative non-fiction and academic essays have appeared in various journals including TEXT, Griffith Review, Axon 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.
About the guest
Molly Schmidt is a writer and journalist, currently undertaking the Four Centres Emerging Writers Program. She collaborated with Noongar Elders from her hometown of Albany, with the goal of producing a novel that actively pursues reconciliation between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal peoples. She completed a thesis on the topic in 2021 and is now enjoying delving into fiction writing. By day, Molly works as a radio producer and reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where her passion for storytelling is put to good use.
‘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.
Aidan D’Adhemar, Fremantle PA Hire
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.