Interview With Brooke Dunnell – The 2021 Fogarty Literary Prize Winner

The Fogarty Literary Award is a big deal, there are very few like it.

Especially if you’re a young West Australian with an unpublished manuscript.

The Award is a biennial prize awarded to an unpublished manuscript by a Western Australian author aged between 18 and 35 for a work of fiction, narrative non-fiction or young adult fiction. The winner receives a cash prize of $20,000 and a publishing contract with Fremantle Press.

The Award is the brainchild of The Fogarty Foundation. Hats off to the Foundation’s creators Brett and Annie Fogarty, for establishing the Award. This year, 2021, is the second time the Award has been made.

And the winner is – Brooke Dunnell for her manuscript The Glass House.

Brooke Dunnell

The Glass House, centres on 36-year-old Julia, who takes a break from her faltering marriage in Melbourne to help her ageing father move out of the family home in Perth. While visiting, she bumps into a childhood friend, Davina, who is keen to reignite their friendship and gets overly involved in Julia’s life without being very open about her own. At the same time, Julia starts having dreams about a shadowy male threat against her stepdaughter, Evie. That’s all we are going to tell you!

Brooke Dunnell is no stranger to people who know budding WA writers. She’s the author of the short story collection ‘Female(s and) Dogs’, which was a finalist for the 2020 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. Her short stories have been recognised in competitions including the Bridport Short Story Prize 2019 and the Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize 2017, and appeared in Best Australian Stories, New Australian Stories 2, the Big Issue fiction edition and other anthologies.

Brooke has worked as a creative writing mentor, workshop facilitator and judge in various creative writing competitions.

She also has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Western Australia and lives here in the West.

Dr Brooke Dunnell kindly took time out in her busy after-Prize schedule to talk to our editor, Michael Barker, about what the Prize means to her, the thrill of being announced the winner, a little about the The Glass House plot and themes, and about herself and the art of writing.

Spoiler alert – Brooke has been writing books since she was six years of age. She didn’t strike your editor as precocious but obviously she was!

Here’s our podcast interview with Brooke Dunnell. Put in your ear buds and enjoy it. We know you will. Can’t wait for the book!