Skeleton key to success

AUTHOR Katherine Allum has won the 2023 Fogarty Literary Award this week, taking a $20,000 cash prize from the Fogarty Foundation and a publishing contract with Fremantle Press for her manuscript The Skeleton House.

American-born and Nedlands-based Allum worked on her novel as part of an Master of Arts at City, University of London. 

Living and working during Covid from a tiny one-bedroom flat, which she describes as having a “one-butt kitchen”, she wrote at a 100-square centimetre Ikea table in the combined living/dining room, unable to scoot her chair out for fear of disturbing a shelf of books and her espresso machine.

The Skeleton House is a fictional work set in a small town in the Nevada desert. It follows Meg, mother of two and married to Kyle. 

He is the husband everyone thinks is perfect but tension rises as Kyle builds his dream home and Meg’s desire for autonomy and freedom resurfaces as does a secret from the past.

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