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Australian Shadows Awards

The Australian Shadows are the annual literary awards presented by the AHWA and judged on the overall effect - the skill, delivery, and lasting resonance - of horror fiction written or edited by an Australian.

The awards are open to submission of any horror fiction published (or anthologies edited) by an Australian/New Zealand/Oceania resident or citizen in the 2013 calendar year—submissions until February 28th 2014.

Past winners of the Shadows include a who’s who of Australian Horror Writers; Lee Battersby, Terry Dowling, Paul Haines, Brett McBean, Kirstyn McDermott, Bob Franklin, Kaaron Waaren, Will Elliott, Deborah Biancotti, Amanda Spedding.

From 2011, the award has five categories: NovelLong Fiction (novellas and novelettes); Short Fiction (short stories); Collection (single author collections); and Edited Publication (anthologies and magazine issues).

Shortlists for each category will be determined by a panel of judges. The shortlisted finalists are announced in March/April every year.

Read the Award Entry Guidelines to find out how to enter works for consideration.

To see who the winners and finalists were from previous years, check out the Past Winners page. You're bound to find some good books to read there. 

Follow regular updates on the Australian Shadows Awards Facebook page

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History of the Australian Shadows Awards

The award was set up thanks to the kind sponsorship of Altair Australia, who donated a collection of hand-painted awards created by acclaimed dark fantasy master Brom and supplied by The Franklin Mint. The Brom statuettes were used as prizes from 2005 to 2009, and garnered quite a reputation among the spec-fic community, becoming known as the 'naked lady' trophies.

The awards initially only had one category between 2005-2008, and a panel of judges would select their finalists from the wide spectrum of fiction writing (short stories, novels, collections, anthologies, etc). This list was then passed onto a guest judge, who had the onerous task of selecting a winner.

In 2009, it was decided to create different categories to better represent the different skills involved in writing different length fiction. The new categories were Long Fiction, Short Fiction, and Edited Publications. The categories were again expanded upon in 2011, with Novel, Long Fiction, Short Fiction, Collection, and Edited Publications.

From 2010-2012, all Australian Shadows winners were awarded a trophy and $250 (a total prize pool of $750). The trophies changed in shape and style as the Australian Shadows Awards evolved. In 2012, one of the leaders in horror special effects for the Australian film industry, Nightshade FX, provided the skull trophies, but unfortunately, these were not available for the following year.

As of 2013, no prize money is offered, and an all new trophy design has been sought and acquired. These trophies will be unveiled soon. 


2008 Award Statue
 2012 Award from of Nightshade FX