#AurealisAwards – We Were Chuffed & It Grew!

18th Annual Aurealis Awards

18th Annual Aurealis Awards

Chuffed. Last night, at the 18th annual Aurealis Awards held in North Sydney’s Independent Theatre, the Australian speculative fiction scene was chuffed… and proud. It all started with Scott Westerfeld’s inspiring opening address. He spoke of speculative fiction as the revitalising force of the movie, television and literary industries, and described the audience before him – of writers, editors, agents and publishers – as a creative tribe, full of talent and community spirit. Too right!

As the night continued, our pride only grew. After a short film by Nick Stathopoulos and Ryan Cauchi aptly entitled “It Grows!” (about an alien plant/insect species taking over the planet – maybe the Aussie spec fic community IS that world-dominating alien?!), this year’s awards were announced.

Richard Harland (award presenter), Kaaron Warren (award winner), Me & Nicole R Murphy (future convenor)

Richard Harland (award presenter), Kaaron Warren (award winner), Me & Nicole R Murphy (future convenor)

 

Each year, the Aurealis Awards gives praise and recognition to the best speculative fiction our country has to offer. What’s amazing is that the reaction of everyone is the same no matter what the result – pride, happiness, chuffed.

 

 

Tehani Wessely (judging co-ordinator), Me, Daniel O'Malley (award winner) & Kate Forsyth (award presenter)

Tehani Wessely (judging co-ordinator), Me, Daniel O’Malley (award winner) & Kate Forsyth (award presenter)

This year, I found two awards particularly encouraging. In the current economic climate, publishers are less inclined than ever before to take on the risk of print-publishing first-time authors. Only the bravest publishers are continuing to champion new talent. But it can pay off. This year, the award for Best Science Fiction novel went to… a debut author. Congratulations, Daniel O’Malley! You’ve shown publishers that debut authors can be a risk worth taking (and I, for one, am grateful for that).

Mark Harding, Nina D'Aleo & Joel Naoum (Momentum)

Mark Harding, Nina D’Aleo & Joel Naoum (Momentum)

 

It was also encouraging to see another debut author, Nina D’Aleo, on the finalist shortlist for Best Science Fiction novel. It’s the first time an author published by Momentum, the e-publishing imprint of Pan MacMillan, has featured on any Aurealis Awards shortlist – Congratulations, Nina and Momentum!

Scott Westerfeld's inspiring opening address.

Scott Westerfeld’s inspiring opening address.

Here’s a full list of the winners:

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION (TOLD PRIMARILY THROUGH WORDS)
“Brotherband: The Hunters” by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION (TOLD PRIMARILY THROUGH PICTURES)
“Little Elephants” by Graeme Base (Viking Penguin)

Thoraiya Dyer

Thoraiya Dyer

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY
“The Wisdom of the Ants” by Thoraiya Dyer (Clarkesworld)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
(Joint winners)
“Dead, Actually” by Kaz Delaney (Allen & Unwin)
“Sea Hearts” by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)

Joint Winners: Kaz Delaney & Margo Lanagan

Joint Winners: Kaz Delaney & Margo Lanagan

 

BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK / GRAPHIC NOVEL
“Blue” by Pat Grant (Top Shelf Comix)

BEST COLLECTION
“That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote” by K. J. Bishop (self-published)

Jodi Cleghorn (horror short story finalist), Me & Joanne Anderton (horror short story finalist)

Jodi Cleghorn (horror short story finalist), Me & Joanne Anderton (horror short story finalist)

BEST ANTHOLOGY
“The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Six” edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books)

BEST HORROR SHORT STORY
“Sky” by Kaaron Warren (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press)

BEST HORROR NOVEL
“Perfections” by Kirstyn McDermott (Xoum)

Margo Lanagan (award winner x 4) & me.

Margo Lanagan (award winner x 4) & me.

BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY
“Bajazzle” by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)

BEST FANTASY NOVEL
“Sea Hearts” by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY
“Significant Dust” by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
“The Rook” by Daniel O’Malley (Harper Collins)

Kate Eltham & Laura Goodin

Kate Eltham & Laura Goodin

PETER MCNAMARA CONVENORS’ AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
Kate Eltham

KRIS HEMBURY ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD
Laura Goodin

 

 

Alex Adsett (my FAB agent) & Me.

Alex Adsett (my FAB agent) & Me.

Next year, the awards will be held in Canberra, as the SpecFaction NSW team hands over organisation of the awards to Conflux Inc. Good luck, Nicole R Murphy! Sydney is sad to see the awards leave, though we know they’ll be in safe hands.

Congratulations again to all the finalists and winners of this year’s awards. Thanks to SpecFaction NSW and sponsors Voyager, Chimaera Publications and the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. And “Cheers!” to everyone who stayed late into the night at the after party, celebrating and congratulating.

We were all very chuffed to be there… and proud.

After Party at the Mundo Tapas Bar, Rydges Hotel, North Sydney

After Party at the Mundo Tapas Bar, Rydges Hotel, North Sydney

Zena Shapter

I write from a castle in a flying city hidden by a thundercloud. #Ditmar Award-winning author. Short fiction for now. Novels to come. Movie buff. Traveller. Wine lover. Story nerd. Book Creator & Mentor. Founder & leader of the award-winning Northern Beaches Writers' Group / ZF Kingbolt

4 Comments:

  1. seantheblogonaut

    Nice photos Zena. Looks like everyone enjoyed the night

  2. Pingback: Congratulations to AHWA winners Zena Shapter & Alan Baxter | Alex Adsett Publishing Services

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