A tribute by Craig Munro, former UQP publishing manager.
Editor Rosanne Fitzgibbon was widely respected for her work over four decades in fiction and non-fiction publishing. For sixteen years from 1989 Rosie was in-house fiction editor at the University of Queensland Press. She was not only responsible for literary fiction and nonfiction but also for scholarly publications in Australian literary studies.
In recent years Rosie was a freelance consultant lecturing on writing, editing and publishing, and conducting seminars and masterclasses for the Queensland Writers Centre as well as workshops for the Literature Board. She judged short story awards for the State Library of Queensland and participated in assessing, judging and editing all the One Book Many Brisbanes anthologies and competitions.
As a publishing editor she worked on numerous story collections, beginning in 1972 with the first work of fiction published by UQP: Michael Wilding’s Aspects of the Dying Process. Others included major collections by Thea Astley, Olga Masters, Lily Brett, Peter Carey, Kate Grenville, and Janette Turner Hospital. In 1998, with her sister Marion Halligan, she edited The Gift of Story: Three decades of UQP short stories.
As a fiction editor, Rosie published the work of many writers including Gillian Mears, Nick Earls, Mandy Sayer, Matthew Condon, Beverley Farmer, Venero Armanno, Rosie Scott, Victor Kelleher, Carmel Bird, Liam Davison, Marian Eldridge, John Clanchy, Barbara Hanrahan, Brian Castro, Nike Bourke, Gerard Windsor, Suzanne Edgar and Gerard Lee.
Rosie’s authors welcomed her warmly sympathetic, generous-spirited and constructive approach to their manuscripts and her unwavering commitment to literary excellence. She was always a book’s most passionate advocate throughout the publishing process from the earliest draft to the design, marketing and promotion of her titles.
Rosie served on boards and committees throughout Australia, including the Queensland Writers Centre, the Brisbane Writers Festival, Australian Book Review and the National Book Council. In 1992 she was awarded the inaugural Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellowship to work in book publishing in New York. Named after Angus & Robertson’s distinguished literary editor, this award is supported by the Literature Board, the Australian Publishers Association and the Institute of Professional Editors.
Rosie's sister, the fiction writer Marion Halligan, also published a beautiful story about Rosie in the Australian: