AustLit logo
Best Novella or Novelette (2004-)
Subcategory of Ditmar Awards
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Inaugurated in 2004, this award offered a category for works that fell in length between 'Best Novel' and 'Best Short Story'.


  • Any work of science fiction, fantasy or horror of 7,500 to 40,000 words.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon Flyaway Kathleen Jennings , New York (City) : Tor , 2020 17351781 2020 single work novella fantasy

'Strange what chooses to flourish here. Which plants. Which stories.

'Bettina Scott lives a tidy, quiet life in Runagate, tending to her delicate mother and their well-kept garden after her father and brothers disappear — until a note arrives that sends Bettina into the scrublands beyond, searching for answers about what really happened to this town, and to her family.

'For this is a land where superstitions hunt and folk tales dream — and power is there for the taking, for those willing to look.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (Picador ed.)

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon Cabaret of Monsters Tansy Rayner Roberts , Australia : Tansy Rayner Roberts , 2018 15977850 2018 single work novella fantasy

'Saturnalia in Aufleur is a time of topsy-turvy revels, of the world turned upside down and transformed before your eyes. The city's theatres produce an annual display of reversals, surprises and transformations.

'In this city, flappers can transform into wolves. Even the rats are not what they seem.

'Evie Inglirra is on a mission to infiltrate the theatrical world of Aufleur and discover what lies beneath their glamorous cabaret costumes and backstage scandals. Has she bitten off more than she can chew?'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon Girl Reporter Tansy Rayner Roberts , United States of America (USA) : Book Smugglers Publishing , 2017 12890563 2017 single work novella science fiction young adult

 From the award-winning author of Cookie Cutter Superhero and Kid Dark Against the Machine comes a brand new novella about girl reporters, superheroes, and interdimensional travel

'In a world of superheroes, supervillains, and a machine that can create them all, millennial vlogger and girl reporter Friday Valentina has no shortage of material to cover. Every lottery cycle, a new superhero is created and quite literally steps into the shoes of the hero before them--displacing the previous hero. While Fry may not be super-powered herself, she understands the power of legacy: her mother is none other than the infamous reporter Tina Valentina, renowned worldwide for her legendary interviews with the True Blue Aussie Beaut Superheroes and her tendency to go to extraordinary lengths to get her story.

This time, Tina Valentina may have ventured too far.

'Alongside Australia's greatest superheroes--including the powerful Astra, dazzling Solar, and The Dark in his full brooding glory--Friday will go to another dimension in the hopes of finding her mother, saving the day, maybe even getting the story of a lifetime out of the adventure. (And possibly a new girlfriend, too.)'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2017

winner Did We Break the End of the World? Tansy Rayner Roberts , 2016 single work short story science fiction
— Appears in: Defying Doomsday 2016; (p. 101-138)

After the 'Pulse' destroys most things electronic and electric, Jin and Aisha are two teenagers scavenging together. Jin specialises in batteries, Aisha in pharmaceuticals; Aisha's mutism relieves Jin of having to keep his hearing aids on.

While preparing for the next market to trade for food, they meet a third boy, Billy, who Jin starts crushing on. After a misunderstanding at the market, Billy and Aisha - who can speak and simply chose not to - reveal they knew each other, and moreover, knew the origins of the apocalypse.

Billy and Aisha questioned their world before the Pulse - the android-like plastic foster mothers, the lack of humans besides teenagers, and the city no one has ever left. They discovered it was an experiment, and the researchers ended it with the Pulse. Reunited, the trio plan on going to the laboratory and restarting the city.

Year: 2016

winner y separately published work icon Of Sorrow and Such Angela Slatter , New York (City) : Tor , 2015 9103100 2015 single work novella fantasy

'Mistress Gideon is a witch. The locals of Edda’s Meadow, if they suspect it of her, say nary a word—Gideon has been good to them, and it’s always better to keep on her good side. Just in case.

'When a foolish young shapeshifter goes against the wishes of her pack, and gets herself very publicly caught, the authorities find it impossible to deny the existence of the supernatural in their midst any longer; Gideon and her like are captured, bound for torture and a fiery end. Should Gideon give up her sisters in return for a quick death? Or can she turn the situation to her advantage?'

Source: Publisher's blurb.