IN the age of increasingly popular digital music, movies and eBooks, there is one local organisation that continues to buck the trend.
Proving there is nothing better than the smell and feel of a printed book, the team behind not-for-profit publisher Fremantle Press will this month celebrate 40 years of bringing readers the best in local fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children’s books.
With some big names in their extensive library – including Elizabeth Jolley, Kim Scott, Sally Morgan, Joan London, Craig Silvey, T.A.G Hungerford and John Kinsella – Fremantle Press chief executive Jane Fraser said the publisher was one of the reasons WA literature had become as nationally renowned as it had.
“Fremantle Press started at Fremantle Arts Centre with creative writing courses,” she said.
“Elizabeth Jolley was the centre’s most popular tutor and the success of those classes led to the idea of publishing local content by local writers.
“It’s good to have local, independent publishers operating away from the publishing hubs of Sydney and Melbourne – publishers that focus specifically on Australian literary culture and on life as it is lived away from those centres.
“For any publishing house to celebrate 40 years, it is an impressive milestone, and it’s lovely to be able to pause, take a breath, and look back at all we have achieved in this time and then look forward to the future too.”
To celebrate the milestone, Fremantle Press will go back to its roots with an anniversary party at the Fremantle Arts Centre on November 2.
To reserve a ticket to the free event, visit www.fremantlepress.com.au.
There will also be a celebration of 40 years of Fremantle Press picture books at the State Library as part of the 2016 AWESOME Festival.
Visit awesomearts.com for more information.
Did You Know? Fremantle Press author Liz Byrski has sold the rights to her 2015 book In Love and War to HBO for a mini-series.
Book that would ‘never sell’ one of Fremantle Press’s biggest successes
Fremantle Press staff have seen their fair share of weird and interesting things in the past 40 years, according to chief executive Jane Fraser.
“There was the six-box 450,000-word work delivered and stacked in the hallway as if the author was planning to move in and there was also the brief autobiography, handwritten on a roll of toilet paper,” she said.
“Of course, a potted history of Fremantle Press would not be complete without talking about the Sausage, affectionately known in-house as the ‘ubiquitous Sausage’.
“Published 25 years ago, A Sausage Went for a Walk One Day was our first children’s books. At the time, a Fremantle Press staff member said it would ‘never sell’ but 20,000 copies later, he’s been well and truly proved wrong.”