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Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction (1995-)
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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'The Aurealis Awards were established in 1995 by Chimaera Publications, the publishers of Aurealis magazine, to recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

'The Aurealis Awards are intended to complement the Annual Australian National Science Fiction Convention’s Ditmar Awards and the Australian Children’s Book Council Awards. [...]

'The awards originally comprised four categories: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and young adult. A fifth category for children’s fiction (ages 8-12 years) was added in 2001.

'The YA and children's categories cover works in all three speculative fiction genres. These categories each have two separate awards, one for novels and one for short fiction.

'Two changes to the awards’ process were introduced in 2008, the best-in-show Golden Aurealis Awards for novel and short fiction (introduced in 2004) were discontinued, and two new categories were introduced: best anthology and collection, and best illustrated work or graphic novel.'

Source: Sighted: 29/11/2013.


  • Instituted in 1995. The aim of the awards is to recognise Australian writers in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Beginning with four divisions (Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Young Adult), a new division (Children's) was added in 2001. In 2008, Anthology, Collection and Illustrated Book / Graphic Novels divisions were also added. The Young Adult, Children's, Anthology, Collection and Illustrated Book divisions cover all three genres. The Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror divisions each have two categories - Best Novel and Best Short Story, while the Children's and Young Adult divisions are offered for Long Fiction and Short Fiction.

    New works by Australians published in the relevant calendar year are eligible for consideration.

Latest Winners / Recipients (also see subcategories)v1317

Works About this Award

How Speculative Fiction Gained Literary Respectability Rose Michael , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 2 November 2018;

'I count myself lucky. Weird, I know, in this day and age when all around us the natural and political world is going to hell in a handbasket. But that, in fact, may be part of it.

'Back when I started writing, realism had such a stranglehold on publishing that there was little room for speculative writers and readers. (I didn’t know that’s what I was until I read it in a reader’s report for my first novel. And even then I didn’t know what it was, until I realised that it was what I read, and had always been reading; what I wrote, and wanted to write.) Outside of the convention rooms, that is, which were packed with less-literary-leaning science-fiction and fantasy producers and consumers.'  (Introduction)

Alphabetical Aurora Australis Alexandra Pierce , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Aurora Australis , April 2016;
Heart Strings and Hip Pocket : Garth Nix’s Writings for Children, Young Adults and Adults Alice Mills , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sold by the Millions : Australia's Bestsellers 2012; (p. 67-81)
'In any Australian bookshop oriented to the general public, as in Britain and the USA, fantasy books for children and young adults have gained huge increase in shelf space over the past decade; enough fantasy books for these age groups have been published each year in Australia to begin to justify a division on the shelves between realist and fantasy (and, more recently, another division between fantasy and the paranormal) Australian fiction. Fantasy for these age groups ia a major selling category, and the categories for the Aurealis Awards (the premier Australian award for speculative fiction) have been progressively expanded, in the case of children's literature, to five. Fantasy for these age groups is thus a major sector of the Australian market. The ferocity of competition for substantial awards, both monetary and in terms of literary prizes, perhaps explains why some fantasy authors for children and young adults are in the forefront of Australian literary marketing in the first decade of the twenty-first century, Garth Nix being among the most successful in the field. (Authors introduction 67)