Aurealis Awards call for 2016 Judges

Applications are now open for the 2016 Aurealis Awards judging panels. 

Please read the following information carefully before submitting your application as we cannot make exceptions to the requirements.

We are seeking expressions of interest from people who would like to judge for the 2016 Aurealis Awards. Judges are volunteers and are drawn from the Australian speculative fiction community, from diverse professions and backgrounds, including academics, booksellers, librarians, published authors, publishing industry professionals, reviewers and enthusiasts. The only qualification necessary is a demonstrated knowledge of and interest in their chosen category. All judges must be willing and able to read electronic entries in either mobi or epub format, which we accept in all categories. Graphic Novel entries may also be submitted in PDF. Print is still sometimes sent by entrants but we no longer require it.

Panel sizes may vary among categories – and from year to year – depending on the perceived workload required and the availability of judges for a particular category. However, each panel will consist of at least three judges, one of which will be the panel convenor.

Being an Aurealis Awards judge involves reading entries in one field (which may comprise more than one category), which may consist of several dozen novels and/or more than a hundred short stories in the process of evaluating the year’s entries. The reading load can become quite heavy at the end of the judging period although we endeavour to obtain works as soon as they are published. Judges may keep their reading copies of entries.

The 2016 ceremony will be held over Easter 2017 in Perth, Western Australia, at Swancon 42. The Awards are now under the auspices of the Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation. This may mean we are unable to continue to offer judges complimentary tickets to the ceremony. However, judges will at least be eligible for one discounted ticket to the Awards ceremony.

Categories are: 

  • Science Fiction Novel
  • Science Fiction Short Story / Novella (two categories judged by one panel)
  • Fantasy Novel
  • Fantasy Short Story / Novella (two categories judged by one panel)
  • Horror Novel / Novella / Horror Short Story (three categories judged by one panel)
  • Young Adult Novel / Young Adult Short Story (two categories judged by one panel)
  • Children’s Fiction
  • Collection / Anthology (two categories judged by one panel)
  • Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel

The Aurealis Awards accepts electronic entries in all categories. Judges must be willing to accept and read entries in this format. Willingness and ability to read electronically is an essential aspect of the judging role.

It is vital that judges be able to work as part of a team and meet stringent deadlines. Most of the judges’ discussions are conducted via a private online forum or email.

Entries to the awards close in early December, with all work published between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 eligible for entry. Shortlists from each panel will be required by February 2017 (firm dates will be advised), and prospective judges should be aware that this may be an intensive process.

Dates for Judging (to be confirmed):

  • June 2016 – entries open
  • Early December 2016 – entries close
  • December 21 2016 – final entries must be received by judges
  • February 2017 – shortlists and finalists must be decided
  • March/April 2017 – Awards ceremony (details to be advised)

All discussions are confidential between the judges in each panel and the judging coordinator and/or the Aurealis Awards management team, as required. The Aurealis Awards judging coordinator will have no input into these decisions except to mediate panel issues.

Judges from previous Aurealis Awards processes are welcome – indeed encouraged – to re-apply. But, in the interests of transparency and impartiality, no one may judge the same category for more than two consecutive years, and a break of two consecutive years is required before a judge can reapply to be a judge in that particular category again.

Please provide the following information to Judging Coordinator Katharine Stubbs at aajudges@gmail.com, by 10 May, 2016. 

  1. Name
  2. Postal Address
  3. Email Address 
  4. Telephone number
  5. Preferred judging categories (please provide at least three options, in order of preference).
  6. A paragraph or two detailing relevant experience and reasons you would like to be a judge for the Awards.
  7. Preferred e-file format – all judges must nominate either mobi (for Kindle) or ePub (with the understanding that files may also be occasionally received in print, PDF or rtf).

The judging positions are open to Australian residents only.

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