You may not recognise her name, but you’d know her work. Rosanne Fitzgibbon DE was a Queensland editor, and a founding member of then Society of Editors (Queensland), who shepherded many well-known authors through the publication process. Her authors included Kate Grenville, Peter Carey, Janette Turner Hospital, Lily Brett and Thea Astley.
During her 40 years in publishing, Rosie spent 16 years at University of Queensland Press as fiction editor, where she was known as a generous and passionate advocate of the books and authors she encountered. Her time with UQP also included editing poetry and literary non-fiction.
Rosie was inaugural Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellow, subsequently studying publishing in New York. After leaving UQP, she taught masterclasses; lectured on writing, editing and publishing; and judged short story competitions for the State Library of Queensland.
Sadly, Rosie lost her life to cancer in 2012. Her contribution to Australian writing, though, will continue to be remembered through the Rosanne Fitzgibbon Editorial Award, known as the Rosie.
The biennial Rosie Award, which recognises excellence in editing, is the brainchild of IPEd Chair and Queensland Honorary Life Member Kerry Davies, who had known Rosie over the years. Kerry says the idea came to her during one of the grassroots Queensland Literary Awards, when only one of the winners acknowledged the contribution of their editor. As Rosie had recently passed away, it seemed fitting to harness her memory to recognise the work of Australian editors.
The inaugural Rosie Award will be presented at the 8th IPEd National Editors Conference dinner in Brisbane on Thursday 14 September.
Tickets for the dinner are available at http://iped-conf2017.org.au.