Aurealis Awards finalists and winners in each category are selected by our judges.
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 single 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.
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.
Judges for the Aurealis Awards may choose to accept some works electronically. This is at the discretion of each individual judge, with the default preference being print unless otherwise advised.
The winner of the Peter McNamara Convenors' Award for Excellence will be reached by a consensus of the convenors of each of the judging panels.
Each judge receives one complimentary ticket (non-transferrable) to the Aurealis Awards 2012 ceremony to be held in late April/early May 2013 in Sydney.
2012 Judging Panels
Judging Coordinator: Tehani Wessely
Science Fiction: Novel
convenor - Alex Adsett
Alex Adsett is a publishing consultant and literary agent
with over 15 years experience in publishing and bookselling. She offers business and contract advice to
authors, publishers and booksellers, helping them review and negotiate their
contracts, including print and ebook publishing agreements, and film, overseas
and translation subsidiary rights. She has worked as a specialist science
fiction and fantasy bookseller in Australia and the UK, and is passionate about
the ongoing publication of Australian spec fic authors. Alex is a regular presenter at writers’
festivals around Australia, contributes articles to a number of publications
and has been an Aurealis Judge since 2007. She is often to be found on twitter
at @adsett or via her website http://www.alexadsett.com.au
Lorraine Cormack is an eager and
enthusiastic book reviewer, currently including regular reviews for ASiF. She
is an avid reader across all genres and enjoys discovering good writers who are
new to her. She is a founding member of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild,
and a returning judge for the Aurealis Awards. She lives with her family.
Alexandra Pierce is a teacher of History
and English. She is a long-time fan of science fiction, stretching right back
to reading Riddle of the Trumpalar with its time-travelling siblings when very
young. Alex has been writing reviews for nearly as long, and currently does so
for the websites Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus (ASif!) and Strange
Horizons, as well as on her own blog (http://www.randomalex.net). She is also one
third of the podcast Galactic Suburbia (galactisuburbia.podbean.com),
recently Hugo-nominated and recognised with the Peter McNamara Convenor's Award
at the 2011 Aurealis Awards.
Science Fiction: Short Story
convenor - Ben Payne
Ben Payne (convenor) is a local writer,
editor and publisher. He has been honourably mentioned Ellen Datlow's Year's
Best Horror, and has edited or co-edited numerous publications, including
Potato Monkey, ASIM, Aurealis, Dog vs Sandwich, Moonlight Tuber and various
publications for Twelfth Planet Press. He has been a judge on the Aurealis
Awards for the last ten years, and convened the Awards on one occasion. His
favourite fish is the dugong, and his favourite angle is obtuse.
Dorothy-Jane Daniels lives by the edge of a tiny bit
of bush in Sydney. She writes when she manages to get her husband and two
daughters out of the house and during lulls in the dog-lizard wars. Her first
novel, What the Dead Said, published by Dragonfall Press, is set in a near future
Sydney populated by ghosts and other untoward characters. She is working on a
second novel and has also embarked on a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at
University of Technology, Sydney. zombiejungle.wordpress.com
Cat Sparks is fiction editor of Cosmos
Magazine. She managed Agog! Press, an Australian independent press that
produced ten anthologies of new speculative fiction from 2002-2008. A graduate
of the inaugural Clarion South Writers’ Workshop, she was a Writers of the
Future prize winner in 2004. Cat
has received a total of seventeen Aurealis and Ditmar awards for writing,
editing and art including the Peter McNamara Conveners Award 2004. She was the
convenor of the Aurealis Awards horror division in 2006 and a judge in the
anthologies and collected work category in 2009. Her story ‘All the Love in the World’ was
reprinted in Hartwell and Kramer’s Years Best Science Fiction, Volume 16. She was the recipient of an Australia
Council emerging writers grant in 2011 and is currently a provisional candidate
for a Doctorate of Philosophy – Media,Culture and Creative Arts through Curtin University. Find her on wikipedia
convenor - Helen Merrick
Helen Merrick (convenor) is a SF/F critic,
reader and fan. Her book The Secret Feminist Cabal was shortlisted for a Hugo.
By day she teaches at Curtin University in Western Australia. By night she
reads way too much speculative fiction, mostly for fun.
Born and raised in Brisbane but extensively
travelled, Joe Marsden has worked in the media, film and publishing industries
and has over a decade of professional experience. In 2009 he served on the
judging panel for the Horror Category, enjoying it immensely. His deep love of
speculative fiction thrills his friends and scares his relatives but he enjoys
reading all kinds of tales and in all forms. He also possesses an impressive
beard and wastes an inordinate amount of time on social media. He studies
German, mainly for the swearing. You can follow him on Twitter: @commissarJoe
Cathie Tasker has always been a devotee of
speculative fiction. As a child she read Patricia Wrightson’s Down to Earth
which made a strong impression on her and began her fascination with SF & F.
She quickly read every speculative fiction title she could find and continues
to immerse herself in the genre. A prodigious reader across many genres, she
always chooses fantasy first. Cathie was once a public librarian, book
club editor, fiction editor, children’s book publisher and she now works as a
creative writing teacher and freelance editor. Cathie feels that she has found
her calling as an editor: “I’m the Spock, not the Kirk”.
Fantasy: Short Story
convenor - Kathryn Linge
Kathryn Linge (convenor) is a university
academic and an avid reader. She was nominated for the William Atheling Jr
Award for Criticism or Review in 2007 and has been an Aurealis Awards judge
since 2008. Kathryn has won Ditmars for contributing the 2007 and 2010
Snapshots of Australian Speculative Fiction, in which up to 90 people in the
Australian speculative fiction scene were interviewed within a single week.
Kathryn is also involved in the 2012 Snapshot, which will be published in June
and promises to be the biggest Snapshot yet.
Peter Hickman is a Melbourne writer who has
been active in the Melbourne speculative fiction scene for about 10 years, as
part of the SupaNova writers' group. He is currently studying an Arts degree
that will involve (eventually) doing an in-depth study of the Australian Spec
Fic landscape and was the convening judge for Fantasy Novel category of the
Aurealis Awards in 2010.
Tania Walker is an author/illustrator and
has been a lifelong friend of the written word since age four, when she first
wrote her initials in Liquid Paper on the side of her parents’ house. Since
then she’s embarked on a haphazard career of artistic and literary adventure,
including: working for Walt Disney Animation Australia, designing naughty toys
and novelties, creating art for poker machines, and coding websites for the
university where she also studies. She’s had one fantasy short story published
and hopes that reading a couple hundred more of the same might keep her out of
trouble for a bit.
convenor: Stephanie Gunn
Stephanie Gunn (convenor) is a writer,
reviewer and lapsed (mad) scientist. She is a past Aurealis and Australian
Shadows judge and currently reviews for ASiF. She is mother to one little boy
who she and her husband are dying to expose to SF as he gets older. She can be
found online at www.stephaniegunn.com
Emma Kate is a qualified teacher librarian
with 10 years of experience. She lives with her daughter in Southern Tasmania
and recently completed Honours in Classics. Emma has had one piece of short fiction published, and was a judge for
the Swancon 2011 short story competition and Aurealis Awards judge for Fantasy
Novel 2011. She reads every night before sleep and sometimes instead of.
Rob Riel has been an avid reader of SF
since the days when a young bloke could buy the latest Heinlein or Asimov novel
for well under a dollar. He’s been a (very occasional) contributor of short
fiction to the genre, and for some years managed the SFWoE competition in
Australia. Rob has worked as a sailor, metallurgist, university lecturer in
English, electron microscopist, and disability services specialist. Ten years
ago he established Picaro Press, which specialises in poetry publication using
print-on-demand technology. He has twice received Australia Council grants for
New Work, and has published two books. Rob lives in Cardiff, NSW, with partner
Judy Johnson, whose second novel has just been accepted by Harper Collins for
their Fourth Estate imprint.
convenor: Lyn Battersby
Lyn Battersby (convenor) is a published
short story author and editor. Her work has been nominated for several awards
and has appeared both in Australia and Overseas. She has served as a judge for
the Katharine Susannah Pritchard Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards.
Lynne Lumsden Green
Lynne Lumsden Green has been an Aurealis
judge on three previous occasions, and felt brave enough to dip her toes back
into the waters. She is a jobbing editor with Morrigan Books, has had several
short stories published in anthologies, and has worked as a volunteer for
‘Voices on the Coast’ and ‘Reality Bites’. She recently completed a degree in
Creative Writing with the University of the Sunshine Coast. Currently, she is
in the process of writing and rewriting a Steampunk YA novel and a writing a
parody of the YA paranormal romance genre. Adult fairy tales and Steampunk are
her two favourite genres when she is writing, and she is happiest writing when
she isn’t reading. Her goal is be a published author loved by millions (don’t
Gillian Polack writes, edits, reviews,
teaches, critiques and sometimes eats speculative fiction. One day she will
learn how to breathe it. She has two novels published, has edited two
anthologies, has written a speculative fiction-related food history volume for
Conflux (the Canberra science fiction convention) and has fifteen published
short stories. She is also an historian, with a PhD in medieval history and a
strong interest in food history, matters Arthurian and almost anything that
involves stories. She has a fortnightly column for the online magazine
BiblioBuffet. This is Gillian's fourth term as an Aurealis judge. She is
currently undertaking an SF-based doctorate at the University of Western
convenor: Jennifer Hegedus
Jennifer Hegedus (convenor) is a primary
school teacher currently working as a specialist in the library. She has worked
in both NSW and in Queensland where she has been able to experience all roles
as a primary school teacher. Her mission is to encourage children to read for
pleasure and to experience the fantastic world of books outside of the
classroom. Jennifer has worked as a teacher, librarian, postal worker,
waitress, paper deliverer, junk mail sorter etc etc. She is a mother of six
beautiful children and a grandmother of five of the most amazing grandchildren.
Jennifer is an avid reader and any spare time you will find her with a book
curled up on her favourite reading chair.
Joy Lawn is fascinated by ideas and images
and how authors and artists express these with truth and originality. She
reviews for The Australian, Australian Book Review, Australian Bookseller +
Publisher, where she also writes a poetry column, and Magpies magazine. She
speaks about literature at conferences and other forums and some of her
favourite times of the year are spent chairing sessions at the SWF and BWF. Joy
has an MA in Children’s Literature and Literacy, with a particular interest in
speculative fiction. Her vision is to see children’s and young adult
literature, including quality graphic novels, further recognised in the wider
community. Joy writes the annual Inside the Shortlist, which looks at the
Children’s Book Council of Australia shortlisted books. qld.cbca.org.au/insidethesl.htm%20
She blogs at www.thebooksnitch.wordpress.com/.
Tim McEwen is a film storyboard and concept
artist, illustrator, cartoonist, graphic designer and comic book creator. Being
professionally published since he was 17 years old. His most notable comic book
creation is Greener Pastures (with Michael Michalandos), starring the naive,
loveable stud bull Trevor Bovis. It was nominated for 16 OzCon Awards, winning
two, has been featured in four exhibitions, and has fans worldwide. Currently
Tim art directs Supanova Pop Culture Expo (co-founded in 2002 with Daniel
Zachariou), which expects 100,000+ attendees around Australia this year. Tim is
also working on a 200+ page graphic novel featuring the Greener Pastures
characters and concepts. He's the proud father of two kids and has
an understanding wife who hasn't thrown out his collection of 9000 comic books.
Illustrated work/Graphic novel
convenor: Deborah Biancotti
Deborah Biancotti (convenor) is an anarchic
reader and award-winning writer based in Sydney. Her first published story won
an Aurealis Award and her first collection, A Book of Endings, was shortlisted
for the William L. Crawford Award for Best First Fantasy book. She’s also
served on the committees of the Conflux convention and Speculative Literature
Foundation. She can be found online at deborahbiancotti.net.
Andrew Finch has read speculative fiction
since the early 1980s and discovered fandom with the first two Thylacons in
1995 and 1998, going on to help organize Thylacon 2005. He was a founding member of Andromeda
Spaceways Inflight Magazine and was actively involved in the magazine from 2002
to 2009. He now produces Galactic Suburbia,
the Hugo-nominated feminist SF podcast. Andrew was introduced to graphic novels with Watchmen sometime in the
early nineties, reading the whole trade paperback for the first time in a
single sitting. Favourite graphic novels
since then have included V for Vendetta, Return of the Dark Knight, From Hell
and more recently Sandman, Logicomix, The Ultimates and She Hulk. He is delighted to have two daughters 7 and 2
who are actively interested in Doctor Who and superheroes.
Kaaron Warren’s short story collection The
Grinding House (CSFG Publishing) won the ACT Writers’ and Publishers’ Fiction
Award and two Ditmar Awards. Her second collection, Dead Sea Fruit, published
by Ticonderoga Books, won the ACT Writers’ and Publishers’ Fiction Award. Her
critically acclaimed novel Slights (Angry Robot Books) won the Australian
Shadows Award, the Ditmar Award and the Canberra Critics’ Award for Fiction.
Angry Robot Books also published her novels Walking the Tree and Mistification,
both shortlisted for a Ditmar Award. She has been named Special Guest for the
Australian National Science Fiction Convention in 2013, and her latest book is
Through Splintered Walls, out in June from Twelfth Planet Press. She recently
acted as a juror for the Shirley Jackson Awards. Kaaron lives in Canberra,
Australia, with her husband and children. Her website iskaaronwarren.wordpress.com and she tweets @KaaronWarren.
Anthology and collection
convenor: Katharine Stubbs
Katharine Stubbs (convenor) is a reviewer
for Hachette Australia and the fantasy writing website/forum Mythic Scribes.
She currently writes, interviews and judges short stories for the website
Shades of Sentience and has done so since its creation. Some day, Katharine
would like to be a published author but until then, she is happy re-writing her
many current manuscripts, reading as much as possible, and travelling.
Matthew Chrulew is a humanities researcher
and prog rock aficionado who lives in Sydney’s north. He has published over
twenty short stories. His 2010 novella The Angælien Apocalypse (Twelfth Planet
Press) was a finalist in the Aurealis Awards. Other stories have been
shortlisted in the Australian Shadows Award and reprinted in year’s bests. He
blogs at matthewchrulew.wordpress.com/
Sarah JH Fletcher
A lifelong fan of speculative fiction, Sarah JH Fletcher (formerly Sarah Hazelton) has several years of inhouse editing experience under her belt. She is currently living the rockstar freelance lifestyle. Sarah works on a broad range of fiction and non-fiction titles for adults and young people, specialising in ebooks and anything that involves worldbuilding.