FREMANTLE author Molly Schmidt has won the 2022 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award.
Taking home $15,000 and a publishing contract with Fremantle Press, Schmidt won the Hungerford for her first full-length, unpublished novel, Salt River Road.
Fremantle Press publisher and judge Georgia Richter said Salt River Road was interspersed with beautiful passages of verse – an effective way of navigating the difficult, changeable journey of grief.
Schmidt’s coming-of-age story is set in regional WA in the 1970s and drew on her own experience of losing her father to cancer.
She said it explored “the reality of a childhood lost to hospital corridors and the gaping hole a parent leaves behind”.
Fremantle mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge said two of the four shortlisted writers lived in Fremantle.
“We are proudly a creative city and seeing our local writers recognised in this way is brilliant,” she said. “I can’t wait to read Molly’s work! I’m confident all four shortlisted writers will one day look back on the night as a significant early milestone in their careers.”