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Fremantle signs two debut authors from Hungerford shortlist

13 February 2019

Fremantle Press has acquired ANZ rights to two debut books from authors who were shortlisted for last year’s T A G Hungerford Award.

Books by writers Julie Sprigg and Yuot A Alaak will join 2018 winner Holden Sheppard’s YA novel Invisible Boys on the small press’ publishing program.

Sprigg’s memoir Chewing Porridge follows her experiences working as a physiotherapist in Ethiopia. She said: I wrote this manuscript as I wanted to bring to life the stories of the fragility and resilience of the people I worked with, and to give a window into a world that few people get to experience. It was a dream come true to be shortlisted for the T A G Hungerford Award and beyond my dreams to be offered a publishing contract with Fremantle Press.’

Alaak’s book, Father of the Lost Boys, tells the story of his father, Mecak Ajang Alaak, who led almost 20,000 unaccompanied minors, including the author, out of danger during Africa’s longest civil war. Alaak described it as ‘an important story that needs to be told’.

He said: ‘I am glad to join the Fremantle Press family, a phenomenal Australian publisher, as I continue to learn and develop as a writer. I am excited for the road ahead and look forward to the editing and publishing processes and in bringing this important story to life and into the hands of readers.’

Fremantle Press publisher Georgia Richter said the ‘high standard and high volume of submissions’ for last year’s award shows how much ‘untapped writing talent there is Western Australia’.

‘It’s very exciting for us to add these two bright new writers and their stories to the Fremantle Press list,’ added Richter.

Sprigg and Alaak’s books are scheduled for release in 2020.