Aurealis Awards entries update and reminder!

There is now less than one month until entries close for the 2021 Aurealis Awards. It’s important to remember that ALL eligible Australian work published for the first time between January 1 and December 31, 2021 must be entered by December 14, even work intended for publication after the December 14 cut off date.

If you have any work scheduled for publication after December 14, enter it NOW! If publication is delayed, we can easily remove the entry, but we are unable to make exceptions afterwards if work is not entered by the December 14 deadline.

Please take care to check the updated entries received list and get your entries in!

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Entries for the SARA DOUGLASS BOOK SERIES AWARD close 30 September!

Entries for the Sara Douglass Book Series Award close shortly.

If you or someone you know had an Australian speculative fiction series of at least two books that was considered finished in 2018, 2019 or 2020, make sure it is entered!

Entry for this Award is free, and judges prefer digital files for reading.

Find more information and the entry form here.

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2021 Aurealis Awards open for entry

We are delighted to announce that the 2021 Aurealis Awards are now open for immediate entry.

The Aurealis Awards, Australia’s premier awards for speculative fiction, are for works created by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and published for the first time between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021.

We strongly encourage publishers and authors to enter all works published already this year by September 30, 2021, then subsequent publications as they are released; our judges appreciate having time to consider each entry carefully.

Entries for the Aurealis Awards main categories close on December 14, 2021.

Full guidelines and FAQ can be found on the Aurealis Awards website:


The Aurealis Awards judges welcome electronic entries in all categories, including novels, short stories, novellas, illustrated work / graphic novels, collections, anthologies, children’s and young adult fiction. The Aurealis Awards management team recognises the financial burden of entering multiple works in multiple categories to some authors, editors and publishers at independent small presses. We accept epub and mobi files, although PDF may be provided if no other format is available (particularly for graphic works). Print may also be supplied.

Finalists of all award categories will be announced early in 2022 and winners announced at a ceremony to take place in the first half of the year. For more information on the awards or for the entry forms, visit the Aurealis Awards website at

For more information contact the judging coordinator Tehani Croft at

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Announcing the 2021 Judging Panels

We are very pleased to welcome our 2021 Aurealis Awards judging panels. All our judges are volunteers and we are extremely grateful for their hard work and professionalism throughout the process. The Awards would not exist without them!

Judging Coordinator: Tehani Croft, assisted by Joanne Anderton

ANTHOLOGIES / COLLECTIONS PANEL (two separate categories judged by one panel)
Amy Laurens
Clare May
Jemimah Brewster
Penelope Cottier
Rowena Specht-Whyte (Convenor)

Elizabeth Luchjenbroers
Eugen Bacon (Convenor)
Kate Lomas Glendenning
Miffy Farquharson
T R Napper

Bronwyn Swasbrick
Cathie Tasker (Convenor)
Caylee Tierney
Deb Gates
Rachel Aitken

Cary Lenehan
Ella Kurz
Jan-Andrew Henderson (Convenor)
Karen Seeneevassen
Paula Duggan

David Brine
Lynda Young
Melody Beier (Convenor)
Ruth Lawlor
Shannon Kelly

HORROR NOVEL/NOVELLA PANEL (two separate categories judged by one panel)
Alannah Pearson
Allister Smith
Benjamin Corby
Emma Cutting
Mark Lingane (Convenor)

Blake Curran
Bryn Smith
Caitlin Chisholm (Convenor)
Leah Rose
Sharita Russell

Bryn Hepworth
Iurgi Urrutia (Convenor)
Jacqueline Wheadon
Jess Gately
Mia Macrossan

Anna Hepworth
Dianne De Bellis (Convenor)
Dorothy-Jane Daniels
Jesse Greyson
Patrick Keuning

David James
Emilie Morscheck
Louise Nice
Mark Phillips
Paula Boer (Convenor)

Christine Yunn-Yu Sun
Mark Fazackerley (Convenor)
Natalie Haigh
Rebecca Sutherland

YA NOVEL / SHORT STORY PANEL (two separate categories judged by one panel)
Amanda Diaz
Andrew Finegan (Convenor)
Emma Phillips
Linda Sengsourinho
Sarah Custance

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Sara Douglass Book Series Award is open to entries

The judging panel now welcomes entries for the 2021 Sara Douglass Book Series Award.

The 2021 Award covers all series ending between January 2018 and December 2020. Please see more information below and on the Sara page.


  • This year, the Sara covers series ending (in original publication) between January 2018 and December 2020. 
  • The current judging year is deliberately excluded. This permits an earlier submissions deadline to allow adequate time for the judges to consider all works entered.
  • Entries close September 30, 2021 (please note this is different to the rest of the Aurealis Awards).


  • For the purpose of the Sara Douglass Book Series Award, a “series” is defined as a continuing ongoing story told through two or more books, which must be considered as ending in one of the years covered by the judging period.
  • This award is to recognise that there are book series that are greater as a whole than the sum of their parts – that is, the judges are looking for a series that tells a story across the series, not one that just uses the same characters/setting across loosely connected books. It is anticipated that shortlisted works will be best enjoyed read in succession, with an arc that begins in the first book and is completed in the last.
  • The series may be in any speculative genre within the extended bounds of science fiction, fantasy or horror (that is, if a book would be considered on an individual basis for one of the novel, or possibly novella, categories in the Aurealis Awards, the series may be considered here).
  • The Sara Douglass Book Series Award does not replace or depose individual books being entered in the usual categories – it is a supplementary Award.
  • As is also the case with the rules for Illustrated Work/Graphic Novel and serialised novels, if a series is considered finished and entered at the conclusion of (for example) book three, but then is continued in future works, the future works *may* be entered as a series at a later point, but the first trilogy (for example), if previously entered in the Series award, may not be considered again. As an example – if the first three books of Sara Douglass’s Wayfarer Redemption series (Battleaxe / Enchanter / Starman) had been entered in the Sara Douglass Book Series Award in the year following the publication of the final book, the subsequent trilogy continuing the story (Sinner / Pilgrim / Crusader) could have been entered in a later year, but the first three could not be considered again as a series of six. However, if the first three books had never been considered for the Sara Douglass Book Series Award, all six could have been entered at the conclusion. Essentially, parts of an extended series may only be considered once for this Award (although as noted, individual books are still eligible for regular Aurealis Awards categories in their year of publication).
  • There is no entry fee for this special Award category, but all books must be supplied to the judging panel by the entrant (publisher or author).


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Aurealis Awards 2021 – Call for Judges

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 Australian residents who would like to judge for the 2021. 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 (good time management skills and an ability to work in a team in an online environment are also essential).

All judges must be willing and able to read digital 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 do not 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 for one panel (which may comprise more than one category). This may consist of several dozen novels and/or more than a hundred short stories / novellas 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. Convenors of each panel are also required to participate in the judging of the Convenors’ Award for Excellence, which involves additional consumption of material.

Categories are: 

  • Science Fiction Novel
  • Science Fiction Short Story / Novella (two categories sometimes judged by one panel)
  • Fantasy Novel
  • Fantasy Short Story / Novella (two categories sometimes judged by one panel)
  • Horror Novel / Novella / Horror Short Story (three categories judged by one or two panel, depending on availability of judges)
  • Young Adult Novel / Young Adult Short Story (two categories sometimes judged by one panel)
  • Children’s Fiction
  • Collection / Anthology (two categories judged by one panel)
  • Illustrated Book / Graphic Novel

The Aurealis Awards accepts digital entries in all categories. Judges must be willing to accept and read entries in this format. Willingness and ability to read digitally 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, 2021 and December 31, 2021 eligible for entry. Shortlists from each panel will be required by March 2022 (firm dates will be advised), and prospective judges should be aware that this may be an intensive process.

Dates for Judging (to be confirmed):

  • August 22 2021 – judging applications close
  • September 2021 – entries open
  • Mid December 2021 – entries close
  • December 31 2021 – final entries must be received by judges; Convenors’ Award for Excellence entries close
  • March 2022 – shortlists and finalists must be decided by panels
  • April 2022 – Convenors’ Award for Excellence decided by convenors.
  • 2022 – 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 complete the form below by Sunday 22 August, 2021. 

The judging positions are open to Australian residents only.

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2020 Aurealis Awards Ceremony Recording

Thanks so much to the ConFound team who made this happen! If you missed the ceremony on Thursday, you can now view it in all its glory.

Huge appreciation to Freye Marske and Leife Shallcross for their wonderful hosting duties, to all of the people around the world who were online for the ceremony, filling the chat with love and joy, and as always, to our amazing judging teams, for their work each year in what is, I can assure you, a massive and often very challenging job! They are the lifeblood of the Aurealis Awards, and we are so grateful for their time and energy in this space.

My apologies that I was unable to upload the closed captions file from the ceremony with the video (for some reason, YouTube would not permit me to) – hopefully YouTube’s auto generated version works okay.

(Please note, this video is unedited, as aired!)

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2020 Aurealis Awards Winners

The Aurealis Awards management team, on behalf of the Continuum Foundation, would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s Awards. We also take this opportunity to thank the judging panels for all their hard work making the difficult decisions of shortlists and the winning works, ConFound liaisons for organising the online ceremony, and all the creators and publishers who continue to make the Aurealis Awards Australia’s premier speculative fiction award each year.

The winners of the 2020 Aurealis Awards are:


The Lost Soul Atlas, Zana Fraillon (Hachette Australia)


Under-Earth, Chris Gooch (Top Shelf)


“Dingo & Sister”, Nikky Lee (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine #78)


“Phoenix Pharmaceuticals”, Jessica Nelson-Tyers (Cancer, The Zodiac Series, #7, Deadset Press)


“The Saltbush Queen”, Chris Mason (Outback Horrors Down Under, Things in The Well)


“Truth Be Told”, Louise Pieper (Unnatural Order, CSFG)


“Dingo & Sister”, Nikky Lee (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine #78)


“Mary, Mary”, Fiona Bell (Aurealis #135)


“The Weight of the Air, The Weight of the World”, T R Napper (Neon Leviathan, Grimdark Magazine)


The Heart is a Mirror for Sinners and Other Stories, Angela Slatter (PS Publishing)


Rebuilding Tomorrow, Tsana Dolichva (Ed.) (Twelfth Planet Press)


The Erasure Initiative, Lili Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin)


None Shall Sleep, Ellie Marney (Allen & Unwin)


The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)


The Animals in That Country, Laura Jean McKay (Scribe Publications)

Repo Virtual, Corey J White ( Publishing)


Never Afters: Female Friendship and Collaboration in Contemporary Re-visioned Fairy Tales by Women

Kirstyn McDermott

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Aurealis Awards Ceremony – register to attend live!

This year the Awards ceremony will be held online via Zoom once again – a fortuitous decision made slightly prior to the latest round of lockdowns (hope everyone is doing as well as can be expected).

There are limited places available to join live, so if you would like to attend, please make sure you register!  

Time: 7.30 pm AEST
Date: Thursday 8 July, 2021
Online @

If you have queries relating to ticketing, please contact

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prepare yourselves a party is coming memes -

This year the Awards ceremony will once again be held online via Zoom, and will take place on Thursday 8th July, 2021 at 7.30pm AEST.

More information to follow, but if you have queries relating to the event, please contact

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