Frequently asked questions
What are the Aurealis Awards for and what is eligible?
The Aurealis Awards 2014 are for works of speculative fiction by authors, editors and illustrators, who are Australian citizens or permanent residents, first published in English between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2014.
Works must be published and available to the general public to be eligible. This includes self-published works. Unpublished manuscripts are not eligible for Aurealis Awards.
Works must be formally entered to be considered for an Aurealis Award. Go to the entry forms page to use the online entry form available while nominations are open.
How do I enter a work into the Aurealis Awards process, and where do I send my entry form?
Use the online entry form available on the entry forms page when nominations are open. You must supply a copy of the work(s) entered to each judge in the relevant category/categories. Once you have formally submitted an entry via the online form, the co-ordinator will contact you with the postal addresses for the relevant judges.
Where do I get the entry form?
Use the online entry form available on the entry forms page when nominations are open.
Can I submit electronic copies of entries?
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.
All judges will accept electronic entries in all categories. Entrants will be advised of the judges’ preferred electronic reading format and may submit either print or electronic work for consideration. We strongly recommend epub and mobi files are submitted for entries, but rtf, doc and pdf may be accepted. We are unable to facilitate electronic submissions via NetGalley or retailer gifting processes.
Judges are happy to accept photocopies or printouts of manuscripts or galleys, providing the text is identical to that appearing in the final, published version and the work is numbered and well bound for reading.
We aim to be as inclusive as possible and endeavour to do all we can to assist the entry process. Enquiries may be emailed to the judging co-ordinator.
Where do I find the judges' addresses?
Once you have formally submitted an entry online, the judging co-ordinator will contact you with the postal addresses for the relevant judges. If you choose to supply electronic entries, these must be provided to the judging co-ordinator for dissemination to the appropriate judges – individual emails for judges will not be provided to entrants. We are unable to facilitate electronic submissions via NetGalley or retailer gifting processes.
Who can enter a work for an Aurealis Award?
Anyone may enter an eligible work using the entry forms provided, however, by entering work(s) you undertake to pay the entry fee (if applicable) and to supply copies of the work(s) entered to the relevant judges.
Use the online entry form available on the entry forms page when nominations are open.
The Aurealis Awards aim to be as comprehensive and as inclusive as possible, so if an eligible work does not appear on our list of entries then please email the judging co-ordinator to let us know about it. Every effort will be made to follow up with that work’s author/publisher. However, please note that just suggesting a work be considered does not constitute a valid entry.
How do I pay the entry fees?
All categories except short story and children's book categories now require a $10.00 entry fee per entry. If you enter a single work into multiple categories, you will need to pay $10.00 for each category entered.
Entry fees will be paid via the Trybooking system. You will require a credit card to complete the transaction. A link to pay the fees will be sent to you once you have registered the entry/entries. After you have paid, forward the receipt to the judging coordinator, who will then send you the directions to submit your entries.
Entries cannot be sent to judges until the fees are paid.
Are there any restrictions on what works can be entered?
To be eligible, works must be speculative fiction by authors, editors and illustrators, who are Australian citizens or permanent residents, first published in English between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2014.
In the case of co-authored novels or short stories, at least one of the authors must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and the Australian involvement may not be limited to illustration only.
To be eligible, anthologies must have been edited by an Australian citizen or permanent resident and first published in English in the period under consideration. In the case of co-edited works, at least one of the editors must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
For single author collections, the entry must have been authored by an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
In the case of illustrated works or graphic novels, either the writer or illustrator or both must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
In which category/categories should I enter a work?
The Aurealis Awards categories are:
- best science fiction short fiction (less than 40,000 words)
- best science fiction novel (40,000 words or longer)
- best fantasy short fiction (less than 40,000 words)
- best fantasy novel (40,000 words or longer)
- best horror short fiction (less than 40,000 words)
- best horror novel (40,000 words or longer)
- best young adult short fiction (less than 30,000 words)
- best young adult novel (30,000 words or longer)
The young adult and children’s categories cover entries across the spectrum – science fiction, fantasy and horror. For the purposes of the Aurealis Awards, young adult can best be described as ‘teen fiction’, broadly 12-16 years. The children’s category is for younger readers, age 8-12.
Anthology and collection
- best collection (a volume of stories by a single author)
- best anthology (a volume of stories by multiple authors, including a single issue of a magazine)
Illustrated book or graphic novel
- best illustrated book/graphic novel
Works may be entered in more than one category, and it is possible for a work to be a finalist and win in more than one category, but we urge you to only choose the most relevant categories, rather than make across-the-board, blanket entries. Entry fees apply for each category entered (except for short fiction and children's).
For example, it would be a rare story that could truly be considered to be science fiction AND fantasy AND horror AND young adult. So please select categories appropriately when entering works.
Remember, if work is entered in multiple categories, then a copy of the entry must be sent to each judge in each of the relevant categories.
I think that a young adult or children’s work is also science fiction (or fantasy or horror). Should I enter it in the science fiction (or fantasy or horror) category as well as the young adult or children’s category?
Yes. While the young adult and children’s categories encompass science fiction, fantasy and horror across-the-board, a work may also be considered within the relevant adult genre category as well. However, we urge you to consider carefully whether a work truly belongs within a particular category and enter accordingly. Remember, if work is entered in multiple categories, then a copy of the entry must be sent to each judge in each of the relevant category/categories and the entry fee paid for each category (if applicable).
What is the cut-off date for 2014 entries and the final date judges may receive copies of an entry?
Electronic entries using the online entry form or downloaded entry forms must be lodged or emailed by midnight 7 December 2014. Copies of entered works must be received by the judging panels at the addresses provided no later than Friday 31 December 2014.
My work is due to be published close to the cut-off date. That doesn’t give the judges much time to read it. Will it be disadvantaged?.
We recommend advance copies or page proofs be sent to judges as soon as possible. We are happy to accept e-copy, photocopies or printouts of manuscripts or galleys, providing the text is identical to that appearing in the final, published version. Works submitted in proof form will be eligible for an award so long as at least one judge on the relevant panel or the Awards co-ordinator sights a final published version on or by 31 January 2015.
The earlier our judges receive the work, the more time they will have to give it the consideration it deserves.
In 2014, we strongly encourage all publishers/authors to enter all works published in the first half of the year by the end of August 2014, and to then enter works as they are published.
My novel has been e-published. Is it eligible?
Yes. Novels published in electronic form are eligible, as long as they have not previously been published in another year.
I want to enter my work in the Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel category but it is a serialised story published over several months...
Due to the sometimes serialised nature of graphic works, either individual issues can be entered or the entire story arc in a trade edition, but not both. In this category only, we will accept the entry of the entire arc in a new, collected edition, even if the work was first published in a serialised form in an earlier year, on the condition that NONE of the individual serials were previously entered for consideration in the Awards.
If no collected trade edition will be produced, but multiple individual issues create a complete story arc, the serials may be submitted as one entry once the final issue is published – in this instance, entry must be made in the year the final issue is released, and any future trade/collected editions will be ineligible. In essence, there is a "one chance" entry regulation.
This exception to the "year first published" rule is made in this category only due to the serial nature of many graphic stories. Entry of any collected serial/trade edition will be at the discretion of the judging co-ordinator. Please contact the award co-ordinators if you are unsure about eligibility of your entry.
My short story has been e-published. Is it eligible?
Yes. Short stories published in electronic form are eligible, as long as they have not previously been published in another year.
I publish an e-zine. Is it eligible?
A single issue of an e-zine may be entered for consideration in the Anthologies category.
Contact the judging co-ordinator.
I publish a multimedia novel or anthology or collection. Is it eligible?
A multimedia format work may be entered and considered for the Convenors’ Award for Excellence as this special award has a broad scope and may take into account more than the printed word.
Contact the judging co-ordinator.
I publish a magazine. Is it eligible?
Yes. Individual issues of magazines may be entered in the Anthologies category. Each issue entered attracts a $10.00 entry fee.
Contact the judging co-ordinator.
I’m an independent publisher. All these free copies are cutting into my profits. What can I do?
The Aurealis Awards aims to be as inclusive as possible and endeavour to do all we can to assist the entry process. To this end, we do not charge an entry fee for the short fiction and children's fiction categories and we continue to operate on a not-for-profit basis, with all judges and organisers working as volunteers. The $10.00 entry fee in the long works categories has been introduced to ensure the continued long-term viability of the Awards, with proceeds only being used to support the Awards process. All judges accept electronic entries, which we hope helps alleviate any financial difficulty for independent publishers.
Contact the judging co-ordinator.
What if I think an eligible work has been overlooked in the Aurealis Awards process?
The Aurealis Awards aim to be as comprehensive and as inclusive as possible, so if an eligible work does not appear on our list of entries then please email the judging co-ordinator to let us know about it, and we’ll do our best to follow up.
Anyone may contact the judging co-ordinator to suggest that a work be entered, and every effort will be made to encourage that work’s author/publisher to enter it. However, note that just suggesting a work be considered does not constitute a valid entry.
Why do I have to enter a work? Why don’t the judges just read everything published?
Speculative fiction is an increasingly popular genre, and many hundreds of eligible works are now published in Australia each year. It would be unrealistic to expect our judges to canvass all eligible works without the support of a formal entry process.
What is the Convenors’ Award for Excellence?
The Convenor's Award for Excellence is awarded at the discretion of the convenors for a particular achievement in speculative fiction or related areas in that year that cannot otherwise by 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 Convenor's 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.
Entries for the Convenors’ Award for Excellence must be submitted to the Aurealis Awards co-ordinator using the pdf form or the word file provided by midnight EST, 31 December 2014.
Who can enter something for the Convenors’ Award for Excellence?
Entries from the speculative fiction community are encouraged. Send your entries to the awards co-ordinator. Convenors may also submit candidates for the award. The convenors the judging panels select the winner. However, entries must be made available to the convenors in the most appropriate format for consideration - contact the judging co-ordinator for information.
Entries for the Convenors’ Award for Excellence must be submitted to the judging co-ordinator using the pdf form or the word file provided by midnight EST, 31 December 2014.
What was the Golden Aurealis Award and what happened to it?
From 2004–2007, the Aurealis Awards included a ‘Best-in-show’ category known as the Golden Aurealis Award, which recognised the best novel and best short story across all shortlisted works in each year. The Golden Aurealis Awards have now been discontinued, and in their place we have introduced two new categories – anthology and collection, and illustrated book or graphic novel.
I want to find out about a past finalist or winner. Where is this information?
Here it is.
Where can I get copies of the Aurealis Awards medallions?
The files for the Aurealis Awards finalist and winner medallions are available free of charge, and we encourage their use by finalists, winners and their publishers.
Email the judging co-ordinator, who will supply an electronic version suitable for use on the web, for cover art or print media.
Publishers may refer to the fact that a work has been a finalist for or won an Aurealis Award in promotional material for that work. It should be noted however that it is the work that is listed for or wins an Aurealis Award and not an individual author. This point should be reflected in any promotional copy produced. In promotional material, where possible, we recommend the phrase ‘Aurealis Awards, Australia’s premier speculative fiction awards’ be used.
Who can be a judge?
The selection of finalists and winners from entries in the Aurealis Awards process is the responsibility of selected judging panels.
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.
A panel must consist of at least three judges.
Judges are selected by the Aurealis Awards management team following a public application process; any member of the public may apply. The management team reserves the right to select judges from the pool of applicants, and may seek additional judges should it be deemed necessary following the closure of the public application process. No correspondence will be entered into.
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.
For more information about being an Aurealis Awards judge, go to the Judges page.
A call for those interested in being Aurealis Awards judges takes place annually. Visit the Aurealis Awards website for details.
How do you pick the judges?
All Aurealis Awards judges are volunteers. They are chosen by the Aurealis Awards management team. We seek a broad representation of the speculative fiction community to be judges, and panels are selected according to experience, availability and suitability for the overall panel mix.
What sort of workload is involved in being a judge?
A judge’s workload can vary widely depending on the category. For example, in 2012 the fantasy category (the largest) comprised more than 60 novels and over 150 short stories. In contrast, the horror category had only 15 novels entered, but again, almost 150 short stories. Because fantasy and science fiction are the largest categories, they have been split into two separate judging panels, one for novels and one for short stories.
While judges volunteer their time and effort, they are welcome to keep the copies of entries sent to them.
I’m not happy about something. What can I do about it?
We welcome your feedback. We are constantly striving to improve, and each year we try to incorporate feedback from the speculative fiction community into the Aurealis Awards process. Based on feedback from the community and judges we have implemented a number of improvements and clarifications on some rules and conditions. To provide your input about the Aurealis Awards, email the Awards Co-ordinator.
Does Aurealis magazine have anything to do with the Aurealis Awards?
Chimaera Publications, the publishers of Aurealis magazine founded the Aurealis Awards in 1995. While Chimaera Publications continues to support the Aurealis Awards, the publisher and its staff are not involved in the organisation or day-to-day administration of the awards.
In 2013 Conflux Inc tendered for and won the running of the awards, which had been administered for the previous three years by SpecFaction NSW, and for six years before that by Fantastic Queensland.
I'd like to help with the Aurealis Awards? What do I do?
All the members of Conflux Inc. and all the judges are volunteers. There are opportunities to be involved with the awards during the course of the year and on the night of the ceremony. Please contact the convenor or the judging co-ordinator.
Where can I go for further information?
Contact the Aurealis Awards convenors via email, or email the judging co-ordinator.