About the Awards

Aurealis Awards Management Team

About the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild (CSFG)

The Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild (CSFG) is an incorporated association for Canberra-based creators of speculative fiction – science fiction, fantasy or horror – in any medium. Most of our members are writers of short stories, novels or both.

Our goal is to support and provide development opportunities for our members as they move from aspiring, to published to (fingers crossed) professional makers of spec-fic.

Judging Coordinator: Tehani Croft 

Tehani was a founding member of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, is the operator of FableCroft Publishing, and has been an Aurealis Awards, CBCA Book of the Year Awards and WA Premier’s Book Awards judge. As well as being the judging coordinator for the Aurealis Awards, Tehani works as a teacher librarian and university academic and reads far more in one genre than is healthy.

Judging Admin: Joanne Anderton

Jo is an Australian author who mostly writes speculative fiction, but has started branching out into non-fiction and kid’s picture books. She recently completed a Masters in Creative Writing at UTS and in 2021 began her PhD at UQ. She’s a fan who loves all things nerdy, and is also obsessed with hiking and travel. Find out more at https://joanneanderton.com/wordpress/

Awards History

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 anticipate 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. Novella categories for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror were introduced in 2016. Submissions within a category are reviewed by a panel of judges, which selects each year’s finalists and winners. One of the judges on each panel is also the panel convenor.

In 2015, the inaugural Sara Douglass Book Series Award was run. Named for one of Australia’s best known speculative fiction writers, Sara Douglass, the 2015 period covered series ending (in its original publication) between January 2011 and December 2014 (in the inaugural year), and is intended to be held periodically (not annually), covering interim years. In 2018, the Sara was run again, covering series ending between January 2015 and December 2017, and similarly in 2021, for series ending between January 2018 and December 2020.

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.

Ceremony History

1995 Awards – Slow Glass Books, Melbourne / 22 March 1996
1996 Awards – Slow Glass Books, Melbourne / 28 February 1997
1997 Awards – Slow Glass Books, Melbourne / 28 February 1998
1998 Awards – Slow Glass Books, Melbourne / 26 February 1999
1999 Awards – South Australian Writers’ Centre / 6 March 2000
2000 Awards – Borders Bookshop Prahran, Victoria / 2 March 2001
2001 Awards – RMIT South Carlton, Melbourne / 22 March 2002
2002 Awards – Basement Lecture Theatre, RMIT South Carlton, Melbourne / 28 March 2003
2003 Awards – Chronopolis (Swancon), Parmelia Hilton Hotel , Perth – / 8th April – 12th April 2004
2004 Awards – Brisbane / 22 Jan 2005
2005 Awards – Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane / 25 February 2006
2006 Awards – Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane / 27 January 2007 (Fantastic Queensland)
2007 Awards – Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane / 26 January 2008 (Fantastic Queensland)
2008 Awards – Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane / 24th January 2009 (Fantastic Queensland)
2009 Awards – Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane / 23 January 2010 (Fantastic Queensland)
2010 Awards – The Independent Theatre, North Sydney / 21 May 2011 (SpecFaction NSW)
2011 Awards – The Independent Theatre, North Sydney / 12 May 2012 (SpecFaction NSW)
2012 Awards – The Independent Theatre, North Sydney / 18 May 2013 (SpecFaction NSW)
2013 Awards – University House, Canberra / 5 April 2014 (Conflux Inc)
2014 Awards – University House, Canberra / 11 April 2015 (Conflux Inc)
2015 Awards – Contact, Brisbane / 25 March 2016 (WASFF)
2016 Awards – Swancon 42, Perth / 14 April 2017 (WASFF)
2017 Awards – Swancon 43, Perth / 31 March 2018 (WASFF)
2018 Awards – The Jasper Hotel, Melbourne / 4 May 2019 (ConFound)
2019 Awards – Online / 25 July 2020 (ConFound)
2020 Awards – Online / 8 July 2021 (ConFound)
2021 Awards – The Hellenic Club in the City, Canberra / 28 May 2022 (Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild)