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.
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. The only qualification necessary is a demonstrated knowledge of and interest in their chosen category.
Being an Aurealis Awards judge involves reading entries in a category, which may comprise several dozen novels and/or more than a hundred short stories in the process of evaluating the year’s entries. Judges may keep their reading copies of entries.
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 an online forum or email.
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 unless a panel of judges is unable to reach a consensus.
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.
When judging application numbers make it possible, we split categories across multiple judging panels, for example, one for novels and one for short stories in a particular genre. Categories with traditionally small entry figures may be combined.
All judges for the Aurealis Awards will accept works electronically and will each nominate their preferred electronic file format. We strongly encourage submission of files in epub and mobi formats, although print, or rtf, doc and pdf files may be accepted.
The winner of the Convenors’ Award for Excellence will be reached by a consensus of the convenors of each of the judging panels.
Aurealis Awards finalists and winners in each category are selected by our judges.
2021 Judging Panels
Judging Coordinator: Tehani Croft, assisted by Joanne Anderton
ANTHOLOGIES / COLLECTIONS PANEL (two separate categories judged by one panel)
Rowena Specht-Whyte (Convenor)
Eugen Bacon (Convenor)
Kate Lomas Glendenning
T R Napper
FANTASY NOVEL PANEL
Cathie Tasker (Convenor)
FANTASY SHORT STORY PANEL
Jan-Andrew Henderson (Convenor)
FANTASY NOVELLA PANEL
Melody Beier (Convenor)
HORROR NOVEL/NOVELLA PANEL (two separate categories judged by one panel)
Mark Lingane (Convenor)
HORROR SHORT STORY PANEL
Caitlin Chisholm (Convenor)
ILLUSTRATED WORK / GRAPHIC NOVEL PANEL
Iurgi Urrutia (Convenor)
SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL PANEL
Dianne De Bellis (Convenor)
SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY PANEL
Paula Boer (Convenor)
SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA PANEL
Christine Yunn-Yu Sun
Mark Fazackerley (Convenor)
YA NOVEL / SHORT STORY PANEL (two separate categories judged by one panel)
Andrew Finegan (Convenor)