science fiction and fantasy author

Tag: aurealis awards

Tin Duck win

Over the last six months, I have written exactly one story. To be precise, I have rewritten this story – I initially worked on This Silent Sea over the last span of time before my daughter was born last year, at which time it was a short story (and for me, mostly an exercise in trying to write a story to a limited word count).

The last few months of my pregnancy were hard, and the first few months of my daughter’s life were harder (I do not do well, either physically or mentally, with the sleep deprivation that goes with having a newborn). When an opportunity came up for me to publish something in Review of Australian Fiction, I initially hesitated. I wasn’t coping well. I was exhausted, I was dealing with postnatal depression and another baby who has reflux and wasn’t a good sleeper. But I said yes, because I knew I had This Silent Sea waiting there ready, and all I had to do was read over it and send it in. Simple.

Except apparently even in an exhausted state, my brain doesn’t work like that. I started tweaking, and I started expanding. Eventually I gave in and just rewrote the whole thing, expanding it from a short story to a novelette. I got feedback from beta readers, and with the help of my husband and mother, I snatched time as much as I could, and I rewrote and I rewrote.

It wasn’t a sane decision. By the end of it, when I sent in the story (almost literally at the last minute), I was worn too thin, but I was proud of what I’d written.

This Silent Sea was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award (which it didn’t win, but honestly, I can’t complain about losing to Tansy Rayner Roberts, and if you haven’t read her novella, Girl Reporter, which did win that category, you should do so, for it is most excellent). It did win the 2018 Tin Duck Award for Best Western Australian professional short written work.

I was organised with a thank you speech for the Aurealis Awards, but not for the Tin Ducks, but thankfully Russell Farr of Ticonderoga Press accepted the award for me and conveyed my thanks (and thank you to him for accepting and delivering the award, and to everyone who coted). For posterity, I want to paste the speech I sent in for the Aurealis Awards here, because good people need to be acknowledged and it is just as relevant to the Tin Ducks.

The original incarnation of this story was written while I was heavily pregnant with my daughter, and was influenced heavily by that state of waiting, feeling her moving and turning in her own silent sea. The story was later expanded and further developed after Emily had entered the world, written in a fevered haze of sleeplessness, exhaustion and postnatal depression and as a result, has been one of the most difficult things I have ever worked on. Just having this story shortlisted for an Aurealis Award is a huge thing, and winning is something else entirely. Thanks have to go primarily to my mother and husband and son, all of whom pitched in to help while I was madly working on the expansion of the story. Thanks also to Matthew Lamb and Phil Crowley at the Review of Australian Fiction for publishing This Silent Sea, and to Deborah Biancotti, with whom I shared the issue and whose insightful editing and suggestions made it so much better than it was. Thanks also to Pia van Ravestein for being the best critique partner anyone could hope for, and to Anica Boulanger-Mashberg, copy editor for RAF who went above and beyond. I’d also like to acknowledge the judging panel and everyone involved with the Aurealis Awards, most especially Tehani, whose tireless work is so much appreciated. I’d like to dedicate this win to my son Liam and daughter Emily. May the stars always shine on them.




Aurealis Awards shortlist announced

The Aurealis Awards shortlist has been announced here (link goes to a pdf).

I am very pleased with the shortlist we arrived at for the horror panel.  The rest of the shortlist also contains some great work, including Ticonderoga’s Bloodstones in the best anthology category, in which one of my stories was published.  Very pleased indeed with that.

Aurealis Awards 2012 Judges announced

Tehani has released the list of judges for the 2012 Aurealis Awards here.

Coping and pasting:

FANTASY NOVEL Helen Merrick (C), Joe Marsden & Cathie Tasker

FANTASY SHORT STORY Kathryn Linge (C), Peter Hickman & Tania Walker

SF NOVEL Alex Adsett (C), Lorraine Cormack & Alex Pierce

SF SHORT STORY Ben Payne (C), Dorothy-Jane (D.J.) Daniels & Cat Sparks

HORROR Stephanie Gunn (C), Emma Kate & Rob Riel

YOUNG ADULT Lyn Battersby (C), Lynne Lumsden Green & Gillian Polack

CHILDREN’S Jenny Hegedus (C), Joy Lawn & Tim McEwen

ILLUSTRATED BOOK/GRAPHIC NOVEL Deborah Biancotti (C), Andrew Finch & Kaaron Warren

COLLECTIONS/ANTHOLOGIES Katharine Stubbs (C), Sarah Hazelton & Matthew Chrulew


Yes, I am judging horror again, and convening the panel this year to boot.  I am really honoured to be able to judge again and to be asked to convene.  I love judging the awards – it’s a lot of work, but I get to read a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t otherwise have come across.  Getting the books is always a nice bonus, even if I do usually end up with two copies of things because I’ve already bought them!  But that just means that I get to pass on awesome books to someone else 🙂

It’s awards season! Tin Ducks and Aurealis Awards

And somehow I’ve managed a nomination for the Tin Ducks.  Thank you, kindly nominator!  Though I’ve not a chance of winning, since I’m up against Tehani, who is made of awesome (and who has written way more reviews than me this past year).

Aurealis Awards shortlists have also been announced!  I had a great time as one of the judges on the horror panel.  Kind of disappointed about the novels, but the quality of short stories made up for it.  (And this is not a comment about the quality of novels entered – there were just problems with all of the entered works that made them not quite award winners).


The Undivided by Jennifer Fallon (HarperVoyager)
Ember and Ash by Pamela Freeman (Hachette)
Stormlord’s Exile by Glenda Larke (HarperVoyager)
Debris by Jo Anderton (Angry Robot)
The Shattered City 
by Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperVoyager)


“Fruit of the Pipal Tree” by Thoraiya Dyer (After the Rain, FableCroft Publishing)
“The Proving of Smollett Standforth” by Margo Lanagan (Ghosts by Gaslight, HarperVoyager)
“Into the Clouds on High” by Margo Lanagan (Yellowcake, Allen & Unwin)
“Reading Coffee” by Anthony Panegyris (Overland)
“The Dark Night of Anton Weiss” by D.C. White (More Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications)


Machine Man by Max Barry (Scribe Publications)
Children of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy (HarperVoyager)
The Waterboys
 by Peter Docker (Fremantle Press)
Black Glass by Meg Mundell (Scribe Publications)
The Courier’s New Bicycle 
by Kim Westwood (HarperVoyager)


“Flowers in the Shadow of the Garden” by Joanne Anderton (Hope, Kayelle Press)
“Desert Madonna” by Robert Hood (Anywhere but Earth, Coeur de Lion)
“SIBO” by Penelope Love (Anywhere but Earth, Coeur de Lion)
“Dead Low” by Cat Sparks (Midnight Echo)
“Rains of la Strange” by Robert N Stephenson (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)



The Broken Ones by Stephen M. Irwin (Hachette)
The Business of Death by Trent Jamieson (Hachette)


“And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living” by Deborah Biancotti (Ishtar, Gilgamesh Press)
“The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt” by Paul Haines (The Last Days of Kali YugaBrimstone Press)
“The Short Go: a Future in Eight Seconds” by Lisa L. Hannett (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
“Mulberry Boys” by Margo Lanagan (Blood and Other Cravings, Tor)
“The Coffin Maker’s Daughter” by Angela Slatter (A Book of Horrors, Quercus)


Shift by Em Bailey (Hardie Grant Egmont)Secrets of Carrick: Tantony by Ananda Braxton-Smith (black dog books)The Shattering by Karen Healey (Allen & Unwin)Black Glass by Meg Mundell (Scribe Publications)Only Ever Always by Penni Russon (Allen & Unwin)


“Nation of the Night” by Sue Isle (Nightsiders, Twelfth Planet Press)
“Finishing School” by Kathleen Jennings (Steampunk! An anthology of fantastically rich and strange stories, Candlewick Press)
“Seventy-Two Derwents” by Cate Kennedy (The Wicked Wood – Tales from the Tower Volume 2, Allen and Unwin)
“One Window” by Martine Murray (The Wilful Eye: Tales from the Tower Volume 1, Allen and Unwin)
“The Patrician” by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Love and Romanpunk, Twelfth Planet Press)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words)

The Outcasts by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)
The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks (Allen & Unwin)
“It Began with a Tingle” by Thalia Kalkapsakis (Headspinners, Allen & Unwin)
The Coming of the Whirlpool
 by Andrew McGahan (Allen & Unwin)
City of Lies by Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures)

The Ghost of Annabel Spoon by Aaron Blabey (author and illustrator) (Penguin/ Viking Books)
Sounds Spooky
 by Christopher Cheng (author) and Sarah Davis (illustrator) (Random House Australia)
The Last Viking
 by Norman Jorgensen (author) and James Foley (illustrator) (Fremantle Press)
The Deep: Here be Dragons
 by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator) (Gestault Publishing)
 by Margaret Wild (author) and Andrew Yeo (illustrator) (Walker Books)


Hidden by Mirranda Burton (author and illustrator ) (Black Pepper)
Torn by Andrew Constant (author) and Joh James (illustrator ), additional illustrators Nicola Scott, Emily Smith (Gestalt Publishing)
Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops (author and illustrator) (Pecksniff Press)
The Eldritch Kid: Whiskey and Hate by Christian Read (author) and Michael Maier (illustrator) (Gestalt Publishing)
The Deep: Here be Dragons
 by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator) (Gestault Publishing)


Ghosts by Gaslight edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers (HarperVoyager)
Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010
 edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Ticonderoga Publications)
Ishtar edited by Amanda Pillar and KV Taylor (Gilgamesh Press)
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 5 edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books)
Life on Mars edited by Jonathan Strahan (Viking)


Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti (Twelfth Planet Press)
Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines (Brimstone Press)
Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa Hannett (Ticonderoga Publications)
Nightsiders by Sue Isle (Twelfth Planet Press)Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Twelfth Planet Press)


Congratulations to all of the nominees for both sets of awards.  And don’t forget to nominate for the Ditmars!  I have  put my nominations in, and have realised how many books I couldn’t award because they’re sitting unread on my shelf.  Must catch up with my reading.

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