This year has been very kind to me with award nominations. Bound was a finalist in the Ditmar Award for Best Novel, The Darkness in Clara was a finalist in the Ditmar Award for Best Novelette or Novella and Obsidian was a finalist for the very prestigious Aurealis Award for Best Horror Novel. I didn’t win any of those, but it is genuinely awesome to have been shortlisted. And then the Australian Shadows Awards shortlists were announced and I saw both Mephisto and Shadows of the Lonely Dead shortlisted for the Best Short Story Award. And then last night I won the award, for Shadows of the Lonely Dead. I’m still Snoopy dancing, it’s such an honour!

The Australian Shadows Awards are annual literary awards established by the Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA) in 2005 to honour the best published works of horror fiction written or edited by an Australian/New Zealand/Oceania resident in the previous calendar year. Here are all the 2014 Shadows Awards winners, along with the judges comments:

COLLECTED WORKS:

Last Year When We Were Young by Andrew McKiernan

A Masterful collection of supernatural horror and dark fantasy. The horror tales are disturbingly close to home, with vivid characters and a distinctly Australian tone. The atmospheric tales of fantasy take you to terrible other worlds.

EDITED WORKS:

SQ Mag #14 edited by Sophie Yorkston

Sophie Yorkston’s edited work showcases some of the best dark writing coming out of Australia today. Many of the stories are powerful and haunting, all of them are original. SQ #14 gives us a collection that is unified by its Australian voices and at the same time wonderfully diverse. It’s threaded with nonfiction pieces that have a firm grip on the pulse of Australian genre writing.

SHORT FICTION:

Shadows of the Lonely Dead by Alan Baxter

A nicely developed story with lots of (dark) emotional depth, and with a message that does not leave us untouched.

NOVEL:

Wolf Creek Origins by Aaron Sterns and Greg McLean

As the character of Dean Winchester said in the hit series Supernatural, “at least ghosts had rules, but people were just plain crazy”. In Wolf Creek Origin, the horror lies in the depths of depravity of Mick’s mind. The murderous streak in Mick emerged early in life with the murder of his sister, and takes the form of a ‘dark passenger’ much in the vein of Dexter Morgan from the TV series Dexter. A prequel to the two popular movies, this book excels in its gory detail and does not hesitate to even mention bestiality. A superb novel that would make an excellent movie, I had John Jarrett in mind’s eye as I read this book.

PAUL HAINES AWARD FOR LONG FICTION:

Dreams of Destruction by Shane Jiraiya Cummings

In what was a relatively small and even field, this was a rollicking romp with Australiana written all over it.

So there you have it – I’m a Shadows Award winner! All the previous shortlists and winners can be found on this Wikipedia page. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, and Woohoo!

.