2013: Margo Lanagan

Margo Lanagan wins 2013 Norma K Hemming Award!
2013 Norma K Hemming Award presented at Conflux 9

The 2013 Norma K Hemming Award for excellence in the exploration of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in Australian speculative fiction has been won by Margo Lanagan for her novel Sea Hearts (Allen & Unwin, February 2012). The award was presented at the Australian National Science Fiction Convention in Canberra on April 27 2013.

The judges (writer and editor, Russell Blackford; editor, Sarah Endacott; writer, editor and publisher, Rob Gerrand; and writer, Tess Williams) arrived at a shortlist of four out of 28 entries. They had this to say about the winning novel: “Sea Hearts takes us on a journey through what it means to be male and female, lover and loved, thing and person, and Lanagan’s rich prose goes beyond the fantastical towards new sensibilities and understandings.”

An Honourable Mention was awarded to Kate Forsyth for the novel Bitter Greens (Random House Australia). The judges commented: “Forsyth weaves together the stories of three vitally different women amongst the flavours and fortunes of 16th and 17th century France, exploring the themes of sex, sexuality, love, ageing, beauty, vengeance, jealousy and fear.”

The judges’ comments on the other two shortlisted works are:

“The Outcast Chronicles trilogy by Rowena Corey Daniells, comprising Besieged, Exile and Sanctuary (Solaris), is a tour de force of extraordinarily detailed world building. Rowena has created political intrigue, attempts at genocide, a dangerous world of magic that many believe to be gods, with flawed, noble and ignoble characters on all sides. There is poetry and wit in the writing, and characters that stay with you long after you have finished this gripping trilogy.”

Winter Be My Shield by Jo Spurrier (HarperVoyager) is a suspenseful, grim, and gritty heroic fantasy novel – the first of a trilogy – set in a cold, wintry land. Jo Spurrier focuses the events around a dangerously powerful young woman, a horribly wounded war veteran, and a cruel, yet strangely sympathetic villain, all of them coming to terms with their tormented pasts. The author is a remarkably accomplished storyteller who must surely have a huge career ahead.”


Bill Wright – ASFF Awards Administrator (2013)


Norma K. Hemming Award 2013 Shortlist