The Aurealis Awards were established in 1995 by Chimaera Publications, the publishers of Aurealis magazine, to recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.
The Aurealis Awards are intended to complement the Annual Australian National Science Fiction Convention’s Ditmar Awards and the Australian Children’s Book Council Awards and the various other state-based and national literary awards. None of those awards distinguishes between the different categories of speculative fiction. We hope that the growing list of Aurealis Awards finalists and winners will increase the profile of Australian science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and provide an essential reading list for anyone interested in these genres.
The awards originally comprised four categories: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and young adult. A fifth category for children’s fiction was added in 2001. The YA and children’s categories cover works in all three speculative fiction genres. These categories each have two separate awards, one for novels and one for short fiction, except for children’s which originally had separate awards for “told primary through words” and “told primarily through pictures”. These were collapsed to a single award for children’s fiction in 2013. Two changes to the awards’ process were introduced in 2008: the best-in-show Golden Aurealis Awards for novel and short fiction (introduced in 2004) were discontinued, and two new categories were introduced: best anthology and collection, and best illustrated work or graphic novel. Submissions within a category are reviewed by a panel of at least three judges, which selects each year’s finalists and winners. One of the judges on each panel is also the panel convenor.
There is also the Convenor’s Award for Excellence (formerly the Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for Excellence) which is awarded at the discretion of the convenors for a particular achievement in speculative fiction or related areas in that year that cannot otherwise be judged for the Aurealis Awards. It can be for a work of non-fiction, artwork, film, television, electronic or multimedia work, or that which brings credit or attention to the speculative fiction genres.
The award was originally known as The Convenors’ Award for Excellence and was renamed in 2002 after Peter McNamara (d. 2004), publisher, editor and the original Aurealis Awards convenor, shortly after he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. In 2014, the award guidelines were revised and it was renamed to its original form, to avoid confusion with the Peter McNamara Achievement Award presented annually at the National Science Fiction Convention. Because this is a special award and the scope of the entries may vary greatly, entries for this award do not feature on the list of general Aurealis Awards entries.
Aurealis Awards Management Team
PRK is a long time speculative fiction enthusiast who regularly escaped to Middle Earth during primary school. Since then he’s become more omnivorous in his spec-fic reading, enjoying and reviewing works in a wide variety of genres including fantasy, science fiction, horror, cyberpunk and paranormal romance. PRK is an IT Geek by day, which provides him the means to fund his spec-fic habit and devour whatever books he can get his hands on. Contributing to spec-fic in Australia, PRK runs conventions as a hobby, and is on the Board of the Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation. You’ll usually find him roaming the corridors at Swancon and Continuum, or online via Twitter: @prkaye or his website:http://www.prkaye.com/
Judging Coordinator: Katharine Stubbs
In the past, Katharine has been mentor and municipal liaison for NaNoWriMo (2005-2012), was the Northern Territory judge of the CBCA Book of the Year Awards for 2013/14, and an Aurealis Award judge for the past five years in anthologies/collections, fantasy novel, and then the Sara Douglass Book Series Award. She loves sky pirates and lives off Italian thick hot chocolate.