Honoured to be a Judge for the 2018 Aurealis Awards (@aurealisawards #AurealisAwards #Fantasy #Horror #ScienceFiction)

 

I am pleased to share here, that I have been chosen as a judge for the 2018 Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Speculative Fiction. This will be my second year serving on the Horror Novel / Novella Panel.

As a long-term fan of horror and other forms of speculative fiction, I am delighted to hear from the Aurealis Awards organisers that “there were a record number of applications for judging positions this year, giving us the opportunity to share the load more widely and draw in a range of new experiences to our panels”. I believe this is partly due to the fact that speculative fiction is increasingly gaining public attention across Australia, as our independent/small publishers continue to discover, support and promote new talents.

Take Jane Rawson (@frippet), whose From the Wreck (Transit Lounge, 2017) won the Aurealis Award – Best Science Fiction Novel in 2017 and was longlisted for the 2018 Miles Franklin Award. (You can read a review here.) Rawson’s research shows that back in 1996, Carmel Bird’s The White Garden (1995) – a horror novel – was shortlisted for both awards. Upon Rawson’s request, AustLit (@AustLit, arguably the “definitive information resource and research environment for Australian literary, print, and narrative cultures”) is able to provide a list of Australian authors with nominations and/or wins in both Aurealis Awards and the Mile Franklin Award.

These authors are proof that speculative fiction has the literary strengths and merits to capture the hearts and minds of mainstream readers. As we continue to broaden our horizons as readers and reviewers, we make a small but important contribution to the growth, diversification and increasing popularity of speculative fiction in Australia. There is no doubt that since 1995, the Aurealis Awards have played a crucial role in leading and uniting our efforts to encourage, inspire and empower Australian authors in their pursuit of literary excellence.

I encourage everyone to follow the Aurealis Awards on social media (@aurealisawards) and keep informed with the progress and achievements of Australia’s speculative fiction writers. The list of entries announced near the end of each year is a good starting point, where emerging and established authors showcase their writings. This will lead interested readers to discover all sorts of fascinating graphic novels/comics, novels, novellas, and anthologies/collections of short stories.

I am honoured and proud to be part of the Horror Novel / Novella Panel for the Aurealis Award for Excellence in Speculative Fiction. More importantly, I look forward to reading lots of chilling horror stories later this year!

 

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