Last weekend saw me road-tripping to Canberra with a few friends, (and aspiring writers) to attend the Aurealis Awards, the annual speculative fiction awards. Started in 1995, by Chimaera Publications, the publishers of Aurealis magazine, the Aurealis Awards recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

And, since it had been 20 years since the first awards, the call came through a couple of months ago for attendees to dress circa 1995. So of course we did! Although I think I did look a bit 1989, or 1992 at the most – but hey I don’t think anyone cared! But before we headed to the hotel to re-create my perm from the 90’s we were delighted to make it in time for Ian McHugh’s book launch of his short story collection Angel Dust, which I’m really looking forward to reading.

Then it was onto the Aurealis Awards, where, as Robin at Write or Wrong mentioned in her Aurealis blog post – the ladies really cleaned up! Check out her wrap-up HERE. Go Australian women writers!! Check out the winners below!

Hosted by Margo Lanagan, the awards were so much fun, and interesting to reminisce about the first nominees from 1995, with excerpts read from the first winners stories. Congratulations to all of the winners this year, and thank you to all the judges, who spent many long hours reading through the 750 entries. And thanks of course to the organisers Nicole Murphy and Tehani Wessely for putting together a fantastic event. I certainly enjoyed it, as did many others!

I’ve met so many wonderful people over the last couple of years attending the awards – I have to say its a bit nice to chat at length with spec fic legends like Kate Forsyth and Margo Lanagan, and very briefly with sharp suited Garth Nix, (who I’m doing a course with in July – woo hoo!), pick the brains Aurealis award winners past and present, including some advice from multi award winner Angela Slatter, publishers, other aspiring writers and enjoy a drink or two with my pals Helen, Robin and Maureen while pretending I’m part of the in-crowd lol! One day (long-suffering sigh) perhaps I will be one of them and shift from aspiring writer to published author…..get to it Lisa!!!

Lisa, Helen & Robin at the Aurealis Awards!
Lisa, Helen & Robin! Winners: The best 90’s look worn by aspiring writers. (It’s a real award)


Aurealis Awards winners:

  • BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION: Shadow Sister: Dragon Keeper #5, Carole Wilkinson (Black Dog Books)
  • BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORYVanilla, Dirk Flinthart (Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL: The Cracks in the Kingdom, Jaclyn Moriarty (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • BEST ANTHOLOGYKaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios (Eds), (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • BEST COLLECTIONThe Female Factory, Lisa L Hannett and Angela Slatter (Twelfth Planet Press) 
  • BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL/ILLUSTRATED WORK: Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye, Tim Molloy (Milk Shadow Books)
  • BEST HORROR SHORT STORYHome and Hearth, Angela Slatter (Spectral Press) 
  • BEST HORROR NOVEL: Razorhurst, Justine Larbalestier (Allen & Unwin)
  • BEST FANTASY SHORT STORYSt Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls, Angela Slatter (The Review of Australian Fiction, Volume 9, Issue 3) 
  • BEST FANTASY NOVEL: Dreamer’s Pool, Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia) 
  • BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORYWine, Women and Stars, Thoraiya Dyer (Analog Vol CXXXIV nos 1&2 Jan/Feb) 
  • BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL: Peacemaker, Marianne de Pierres (Angry Robot) 

Congratulations to the winners and shortlisted authors! Until next year! 

Read more about the Aurealis Awards HERE.

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