I was teaching a qigong class this morning and, obviously, my phone is on silent while I do that. But from the corner of my eye I kept seeing it flash with notifications. So during the break, I had a quick look in case someone from school was trying to reach me about my kid or something like that. And what do you know, it turns out the 2021 Aurealis Awards shortlists have been announced and I’m on there 3 TIMES! Three! Holy shit!

I’m so pleased to see The Gulp get some recognition like this. It made the preliminary ballot of the Bram Stoker Awards for Collection, but didn’t make the final shortlist, so this is especially sweet to see. The Gulp is up for the Aurealis Award for Best Collection, and two stories in it also got a nod – “The Band Plays On” is up for Best Horror Novella and “Mother In Bloom” is up for Best Fantasy Novella. I couldn’t be more chuffed. What an honour and a thrill. Huge congratulations to all the finalists. I’ll post the entire set of shortlists below.

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION

The Boy Who Stepped Through Time, Anna Ciddor (Allen & Unwin)

Stellarphant, James Foley (Fremantle Press)

Dragon Skin, Karen Foxlee (Allen & Unwin)

The Curiosities, Zana Fraillon & Phil Lesnie (illustrator) (Hachette Australia)

Elsewhere Girls, Emily Gale & Nova Weetman (Text Publishing)

Barebum Billy, Nicholas Snelling (BAD DAD Publishing)
BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL / ILLUSTRATED WORK

The Curiosities, Zana Fraillon & Phil Lesnie (illustrator) (Hachette Australia)

Treasure in the Lake, Jason Pamment (Allen & Unwin)

Mechanix, Ben Slabak & Edoardo Natalini (Cloud 9 Comix)

Killeroo: Semper Fidelis, Matthew Soall & Ignacio Di Meglio (illustrator) (OzComics)
BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

“The Woods Echo Back”, Tania Fordwalker (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #331)

“Don’t Look!”, Lisa Fuller (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Wakefield Press)

“Of Slaves and Lions”, Pamela Jeffs (Stories of Survival, Deadset Press)

“Slaughterhouse Boys”, Emma Osborne (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Wakefield Press)

“Way-bread Rising”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Stories of Survival, Deadset Press)

“Hunger”, Marianna Shek (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Wakefield Press)
BEST HORROR SHORT STORY

“Don’t Look!”, Lisa Fuller (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Wakefield Press)

“Traces of Us, Hot Enough for Dinner”, Ephiny Gale (The Dread Machine 1.3)

“The House that Hungers”, Maria Lewis (Aurealis #146, Chimaera Publications)

“The Quiet Room”, Martin Livings (Midnight Echo #16, The Australasian Horror Writers Association)

“Sins of the Mother”, Tracie McBride (Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, IFWG Publishing Australia)

“Mother Dandelion”, Antoinette Rydyr (Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, IFWG Publishing Australia)
BEST HORROR NOVELLA

When the Cicadas Stop Singing, Zachary Ashford (Horrific Tales Press)

“The Band Plays On”, Alan Baxter (The Gulp, self-published)

“Hell’s Teeth”, Matthew R Davis (Haunted: An Anthology, Specul8 Publishing)

Cryptid Killers, Alister Hodge (Severed Press)

“All The Long Way Down”, Alf Simpson (Cthulhu Deep Down Under Volume 3, IFWG Publishing Australia)
BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY

“Who Wants to be a Reaper”, Jane Brown (The Centropic Oracle)

“So-called Bin Chicken”, E J Delaney (Curiouser Magazine #2)

“All my Tuesdays”, Laura J Fitzwilson (Cicerone Journal Issue 5: Curious Worlds)

“Old Souls”, Aiki Flinthart (Relics, Wrecks & Ruins, CAT Press)

“The Woods Echo Back”, Tania Fordwalker (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #331)

“Frabjous”, Alexander Gibbs (Cicerone Journal Issue 5: Curious Worlds)
BEST FANTASY NOVELLA

“Mother in Bloom”, Alan Baxter (The Gulp, self-published)

“The Little One”, Rebecca Fraser (Coralesque and Other Tales to Disturb and Distract, IFWG Publishing Australia)

“Bones Of The Sea”, Amy Laurens (Inkprint Press)

“Echo and Narcissus”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Sheep Might Fly podcast, self-published)

“The Scarab Children of Montague”, Suzanne J Willis (Falstaff Books)
BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

“He Leaps for the Stars, He Leaps for the Stars” Grace Chan (Clarkesworld #178)

“For Autumn”, Melissa Ferguson (Revolutions, Deadset Press)

“Honey and a Hanging”, Aiki Flinthart (Tribute, Black Hart Publishing)

“The Reunion”, Emily Fox (Nature: Futures)

“Relict: (noun) A Widow; a Thing Remaining From the Past”, Alison Goodman (Relics, Wrecks & Ruins, CAT Press)

“Legacy of the Species”, Pamela Jeffs, (The Terralight Collection, Four Ink Press)
BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA

“Access Denied”, Baden Chant (Aurealis #142, Chimaera Publications)

The Cruise to the End of the World, Craig Cormick (Merino Press)

“The Birdsong Fossil”, D K Mok (Multispecies Cities: Solarpunk Urban Futures, World Weaver Press)

“Problem Landing”, Sean Monaghan (Analog Science Fiction and Science Fact Mar/Apr)

“Preserved in Amber”, Samantha Murray (Clarkesworld #178)

“A Vast Silence”, T R Napper (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Nov/Dec)
BEST COLLECTION

The Gulp, Alan Baxter, (self-published)

Danged Black Thing, Eugen Bacon (Transit Lounge Publishing)

The Terralight Collection, Pamela Jeffs (Four Ink Press)

The Tallow-Wife & Other Tales, Angela Slatter (Tartarus Press)

Little Labyrinths: Collected Microfictions, Sean Williams (Brain Jar Press)
BEST ANTHOLOGY

Who Sleuthed It?, Lindy Cameron (Ed.) (Clan Destine Press)

Relics, Wrecks & Ruins, Aiki Flinthart (Ed.), Lauren Elise Daniels & Geneve Flynn (assistant Eds.), CAT Press

Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Poppy Nwosu (Ed.) (Wakefield Press)

Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, Deborah Sheldon (Ed.) (IFWG Publishing Australia)
BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

Waking Romeo, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)

Aurora’s End, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)

Terciel and Elinor, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)

Echo in the Memory, Cameron Nunn (Walker Books Australia)

Dirt Circus League, Maree Kimberley (Text Publishing)

It’s Not You, It’s Me, Gabrielle Williams (Allen & Unwin)
BEST HORROR NOVEL

The Bridge, J S Breukelaar (Meerkat Press)

Midnight in the Chapel of Love, Matthew R Davis (JournalStone Publishing)

Papa Lucy & The Boneman, Jason Fischer (Outland Entertainment)

The Airways, Jennifer Mills (Picador Australia)

Holly and the Nobodies, Ben Pienaar (Hellbound Books LLC)
BEST FANTASY NOVEL 

Supermums – And So It Begins, Meg Grace (self-published)

The Rose Daughter, Maria Lewis (Piatkus / Hachette / Little Brown)

A Marvellous Light, Freya Marske (Tor)

Dark Rise, C S Pacat (Allen & Unwin)

She Who Became the Sun, Shelley Parker-Chan (Mantle)

All the Murmuring Bones, Angela Slatter (Titan Books)
BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

Waking Romeo, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)

The 22 Murders of Madison May, Max Barry (Hachette Australia)

Stealing Time, Rebecca Bowyer (Story Addict Publishing)

Papa Lucy & The Boneman, Jason Fischer (Outland Entertainment)

Aurora’s End, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)

Deepwater King, Claire McKenna (HarperCollins Publishers)
SARA DOUGLASS BOOK SERIES AWARD

Lifespan of Starlight [Lifespan of Starlight (2015); Split Infinity (2016); Edge of Time (2018)], Thalia Kalkipsakis (Hardie Grant Egmont)

Elementals [Ice Wolves (2018); Scorch Dragons (2019); Battle Born (2020)], Amie Kaufman (HarperCollins)

Unearthed [Unearthed (2017); Undying (2018)], Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)

Lifelike [LIFEL1K3 (2018); DEV1AT3 (2019); TRUEL1F3 (2020)], Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)

Winter [The Road to Winter (2016); Wilder Country (2017); Land of Fences (2019)], Mark Smith (Text Publishing)

Blood and Gold [Crown of Rowan (enovella, 2014); Daughters of the Storm (2014); Sisters of the Fire (2016); Queens of the Sea (2019)], Kim Wilkins (HarperCollins)