The Aurealis Awards

Since I’m reading an award winner in this category right now, I thought I’d start the week with this one. This is actually a group of awards originally presented by Chimera Publishing, who also publishes the Aurealis magazine. Recently, a non-profit was started to administer the awards. The awards are for Australian (native or permanent resident) authors, illustrators and editors of “speculative fiction.” (Aside- isn’t ALL fiction speculative…anyway, back to the award.)

They have categories for:

Science fiction

  • best science fiction short fiction (less than 40,000 words)
  • best science fiction novel (40,000 words or longer)

Fantasy

  • best fantasy short fiction (less than 40,000 words)
  • best fantasy novel (40,000 words or longer)

Horror

  • best horror short fiction (less than 40,000 words)
  • best horror novel (40,000 words or longer)

Young adult

  • best young adult short fiction (less than 30,000 words)
  • best young adult novel (30,000 words or longer)

Children’s

  • best children’s illustrated picture book (primarily told through pictures)
  • best children’s fiction (primarily told through text)

 

To be eligible, aside from the Australia connection, all works must be PUBLISHED. Self-published is ok. Anyone may submit a work by filling out an entry form, so you may be the author tooting your own horn, an agent, a publisher, or a fan. The Judging panel is equally open: “Judges are volunteers and are drawn from the speculative fiction community, from diverse professions and backgrounds, and may include academics, booksellers, librarians, published authors, publishing industry professionals, reviewers and enthusiasts.” Anyone can apply. If you are selected though, there is a term limit. After 2 years on a committee, you have to take a 2 year break.  Interestingly enough, on the winner’s page on the website, you can also read the judge’s report for each category. This group has been one of the most open about their judging and selection process, applying, and how to be involved.

For information on Judging.

For the finalists & Winners, and Judging reports.

To enter a work.

To see a list of this year’s nominees.

I must confess now that I have always loved genre fiction, especially mystery and what they are terming “speculative fiction.” When it’s done WELL, it’s awesome. Too many times, the publishers get lazy and don’t put forth the best examples. Who am I to judge? I read those too. 🙂 (Although a poorly proofed/edited book bugs the snot out of me.) SO, as a warning, you should know that genre fiction seems to excel at awarding itself. There will be LOTS of awards for mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy. Some are credible; some seem like a publisher’s gimmick to attract people with that shiny gold label. I’ll let you decide.

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