>Aurealis Awards

Jack Dann and myself at the Awards.

Jack had just been given the Peter McNamara award for his contribution to the the speculative fiction genre. That’s why he looks a little stunned. Jack can talk under water and this is the first time I’ve seen him reaching for words.

Brisbane turned on the heat and humidity for the awards so all the people from down south (in Australia that’s closer to the Antarctic) were fanning themselves saying How can you bear this?

It was a great evening. The nice thing was that no one was told if they’d won so everyone was genuinely surprised. Richard Harland told me he was 99% sure his book wouldn’t win the Picture Book section, but just in case he and Laura Peterson (the illustrator) sent me a speech. I was concentrating on my bit as the presenter of the fantasy awards, when I heard Richard’s name. I madly scrambled to find the speech in my bag, in the dark and darted out there to accept the award for them. Honestly, the whole event is so glitzy and professional with the big screen up the back, that if I hadn’t grown up with the awards, I’d feel intimidated getting up to speak.

Here’s Trent Jamieson and I. His story ‘Crack’ won the YA short story section. It’s a real buzz to see Trent win. This is the second time he’s won an Aurealis for a short story. Trent’s been part of the VISION writing group almost since it started and part of the ROR writing group. I’ve read his latest manuscript and it’s so inventive, it’s sure to sell. So he’ll be making the jump from published in short stories to published in novels, soon. My fingers are crossed for Trent.

As you can see, I had my hair straightened for the night, not counting on nearly 100% humidity. It’s very hard to be glamorous with blonde ringlets, let alone taken seriously!

Well, the Aurealis Awards are all over for another year. Back to the real world of meeting deadlines and trying to steal time to write in between driving children to school and part time jobs.

Cheers, Rowena


  1. >Yes, John.But spare a thought for Australia’s southern states today. They’re expecting over 40 heading up to 47 degrees. This is almost a record.Sometimes I long for cloudy days and misty rain!Cheers, R.

  2. >You know, this is one of the forms of stimulation I think I could use if we get to Oz (not the heat or humidity – the actual physical gathering of fellow writers). If we had an ES Ay award for published work, Paul and I could just split it every year (and not because we’re brilliant) Competition and stimulation make you stronger. Ah well. maybe next year.

  3. >Back in the day, Dave, when the Aurealis Awards first started up there were much fewer stories and books. Even 8 years ago when I read for horror there were only something like 11 stories and 4 novels.This year there were 156 fantasy stories and 38 fantasy novels. The Australian slice of the genre has grown amazingly in the last 10 years. Who knows what will happen in South Africa?Cheers, R.

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