Saturday, January 30, 2010

Guest Post: Aurealis Award Nominee Kate Forsyth with the skinny on the awards

The Aurealis Awards celebrate the best in Australian speculative fiction. I am a firm proponent of Australian speculative fiction, as you might have guessed, so the Aurealis is something I get excited about. I was thrilled when Kate Forsyth, author of The Puzzle Ring, shortlisted for best YA novel in the 2009 Aurealis Awards, offered to do a rundown of the night. I recently read The Puzzle Ring and will review it early in February as part of a blog tour. In the meantime, if you check my Goodreads widget below and to the left you can see how much I loved Kate's book! I can highly recommend The Puzzle Ring and it certainly deserves its nomination.

Nominations in the YA category for 2009 are:

  • The Puzzle Ring, by Kate Forsyth
  • The Museum of Mary Child, by Cassandra Golds
  • A Small Free Kiss in the Dark, by Glenda Millard
  • Leviathan Trilogy: Book One, by Scott Westerfeld
  • Scarecrow, by Sean Williams

Now, over to you, Kate!


The 2009 Aurealis Awards were a gorgeous, glitzy affair at the Judith Wright Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane last Saturday night. The auditorium was crowded with writers, illustrators, book sellers, editors, and publishers, many of them making an effort to dress up and enter into the spirit of the night. Sadly I did not win the Teenage Book of the Year – that honour was conferred on Scott Westerfeld and his wonderful alternative history novel Leviathan – but I had fabulous fun anyway. Here are some photos:

Zoe Walton, Children’s Publisher at Random House, with Kate Forsyth, and Pamela Freeman, winner of the Best Children’s Short Fiction category.

Sean Williams and Kate Forsyth (both nominees for Best Teenage Novel) with the winner, Scott Westerfeld. The other nominees, Cassandra Gold and Glenda Millard were unfortunately not there at the award.

Kate with Kaaron Warren, whose novel Slights was shortlisted for the Best Horror Novel (won by Honey Brown)

Kate and Kim Wilkins

Kate with Glenda Larke, whose novel The Last Stormlord was shortlisted for Best fantasy Novel (won by Trudi Canavan)

A few highlights of the night include:

* Andrew McGahan winning best SF Novel with ‘Wonders of a Godless World’ – lovely to see authors who are normally considered as writers of contemporary realism spreading their wings into the speculative fiction genre

* Justin Ackroyd winning the Peter McNamara Convenors’ award – I remember my very first Aurealis Award ceremony was held in his shop in Melbourne. It was in 1997 when I was short-listed for my first novel Dragonclaw­ and he was very warm and welcoming to a rather shy new girl on the block

* the establishment of the Kris Hembury Encouragement Award for Emerging Artists, which was won by Kathleen Jennings.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Best Science Fiction Novel
Andrew McGahan, Wonders o
f a Godless World, Allen & Unwin

Best Science Fiction S
hort Story
Peter M. Ball, 'Clockwork, Patchwork and Ravens', Apex Magazine May 2009

Best Fantasy Novel
Trudi Canavan, Magician's Apprentice, Orbit

Best Fantasy Short Story (joint winners)

Christopher Green, 'Father's Kill', Beneath Ceaseless Skies #24
Ian McHugh, 'Once a Month, On a Sunday', Andromeda Spaceways Inflight M
agazine #40, Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Co-operative Ltd

Best Horror Novel
Honey Brown, Red Queen, Penguin Australia

Best Horror Short Story (joint winners)

Paul Haines, 'Wives', X6, Coeur de Lion Publishing
Paul Haines, 'Slice of Life - A Spot of Liver', Slice of Life, The Mayne Press

Best Anthology

Jonathan Strahan (editor), Eclipse 3, Night Shade Books

Best Collection
Greg Egan, Oceanic, Gollancz

Best Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel

Nathan Jurevicius, Scarygirl, Allen & Unwin

Best Young Adult Novel
Scott Westerfeld, Leviathan Trilogy: Book One, Penguin

Best Young Adult Short Story
Cat Sparks, 'Seventeen', Masques, CSFG

Best Children's Novel
Gabrielle Wang, A Ghost in My Suitcase, Puffin Books

Best Children's Illustrated Work/Picture Book

Pamela Freeman (author), Kim Gamble (illustrator), Victor's Challenge, Walker Books Australia

I’m so happy for all the people who won, it is such a tribute to the diversity, energy and sheer talent of the Australian speculative fiction community. There was, however, a lot of talk over the announcement that the awards will no longer be run by Fantastic Queensland, the group that has been organising the ceremony for the past six years (and, I think, have all aged about a thousand years as a result – the work load must be immense!) Apparently an announcement is soon to made about who is to take over the awards. Check out the website for more info:


Thanks so much Kate! Look out for my review of The Puzzle Ring shortly.


  1. Sounds like a blast! Couldn't see the pics though.

  2. Pix are missing for me too!

    It was lovely to see you again, Kate...

  3. I've only read Leviathan but loved it and I'm on course to read the Puzzle Ring because I'm fortunate enough to be part of the US blog tour! Thanks for the post and list of great looking books!