AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 5957184526021249283.png
Scarlet Stiletto Awards (1994-)
Subcategory of Awards Australian 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.


Established in 1994 by Sisters in Crime Australia to foster and encourage women's crime writing, the Scarlet Stiletto Awards are given for crime writing by women in a number of categories. The first prize winner is awarded the Scarlet Stiletto trophy for best unpublished short crime fiction. The trophy consists of a scarlet shoe with a steel stiletto heel plunging into a perspex mount.

The competition is open to women residents of Australia. All stories must contain an active woman protagonist and a crime/mystery theme.

Angela Savage wrote a history of the awards, entitled 'A Dagger With a Difference', in 2013.

Source: Sighted 10/12/2013.


  • The Scarlet Stiletto Awards were established by Sisters in Crime Australia in 1994 and are presented annually for short stories written by women resident in Australia.

Latest Winners / Recipients (also see subcategories)v1190

Year: 2016

winner (Silver Stiletto) Jacqui Horwood For 'Diving for Pearls'.
winner Stone Cold Ruth Wykes , 2017 single work short story crime
— Appears in: Award Winning Australian Writing 2017 2017; (p. 214-227)

Year: 2015

winner T. J. Hamilton For short story 'Hard Knox'.
winner Annie Hauxwell Won The Financial Crime Award for 'Washeteria'.

Year: 2012

winner Shadows Josephine Pennicott , 2013 single work short story
— Appears in: Award Winning Australian Writing 2013 2013; (p. 137-150)

Year: 2011

winner y separately published work icon The Teardrop Tattoos Angela Savage , Brunswick : Angela Savage , 2012 7798549 2012 single work short story crime

'In this award-winning short story set in Melbourne, Australia, an anonymous narrator is released from prison into public housing near a child care centre. When she receives a complaint about her dog, a restricted breed, she blames a mother whose infant attends the centre. Acquiring disguises from the local op shop, she stalks the mother and sets about plotting a terrible revenge for the loss of her dog.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2010

winner Tallow Eleanor Marney , 2011 single work short story
— Appears in: Scarlet Stiletto : The Second Cut 2011; (p. 283-298) Award Winning Australian Writing 2011 2011;

Works About this Award

Moss Puts in Time to Talk about Crime Suzanne Carbone , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 6 October 2011; (p. 28)
Crime and Nourishment Jaz Stutley , 2009-2010 single work column
— Appears in: Inscribe , Summer no. 1 2009-2010; (p. 10)
Bordering on the Brink Jason Steger , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 28 November 2009; (p. 32)
Undercover Susan Wyndham , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 27-28 November 2009; (p. 26)
Lending Rights Wrong Widow Jason Steger , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 22 November 2008; (p. 29)
A column canvassing current literary news including a report on the injustice of the cessation of lending rights payments for Alan Collins's Alva's Boy following his death. Columnist Jason Steger also lists the winners of the 2008 Scarlet Stiletto Awards.