The Aurealis Awards administrators are seeking expressions of interest from Australian residents who would like to judge for the 2019 Aurealis Awards. Judges are volunteers drawn from the Australian speculative fiction community, from diverse professions and backgrounds, including academics, booksellers, librarians, published authors, publishing industry professionals, reviewers and enthusiasts. The only qualification necessary is a demonstrated knowledge of and interest in their chosen category (good time management skills and an ability to work in a team in an online environment are also essential).
All judges must be willing and able to read digital entries in either mobi or epub format, which we accept in all categories. Graphic Novel entries may also be submitted in PDF. Print is still sometimes sent by entrants but we do not require it.
Panel sizes may vary among categories—and from year to year—depending on the perceived workload required and the availability of judges for a particular category. However, each panel will consist of at least three judges, one of which will be the panel convenor.
Being an Aurealis Awards judge involves reading entries for one panel (which may comprise more than one category). This may consist of several dozen novels and/or more than a hundred short stories / novellas in the process of evaluating the year’s entries. The reading load can become quite heavy at the end of the judging period although we endeavour to obtain works as soon as they are published. Judges may keep their reading copies of entries. Convenors of each panel are also required to participate in the judging of the Convenors’ Award for Excellence, which involves additional consumption of material.
- Science Fiction Novel
- Science Fiction Short Story / Novella (two categories sometimes judged by one panel)
- Fantasy Novel
- Fantasy Short Story / Novella (two categories sometimes judged by one panel)
- Horror Novel / Novella / Horror Short Story (three categories judged by one or two panel, depending on availability of judges)
- Young Adult Novel / Young Adult Short Story (two categories sometimes judged by one panel)
- Children’s Fiction
- Collection / Anthology (two categories judged by one panel)
- Illustrated Book / Graphic Novel
- The Aurealis Awards accepts digital entries in all categories. Judges must be willing to accept and read entries in this format. Willingness and ability to read digitally is an essential aspect of the judging role.
It is vital that judges be able to work as part of a team and meet stringent deadlines. Most of the judges’ discussions are conducted via a private online forum or email.
Entries to the awards close in early December, with all work published between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 eligible for entry. Shortlists from each panel will be required by February 2020 (firm dates will be advised), and prospective judges should be aware that this may be an intensive process.
Dates for Judging (to be confirmed):
- June 2019 – entries open
- Mid December 2019 – entries close
- December 31 2019 – final entries must be received by judges
- February 2020 – shortlists and finalists must be decided by panels
- March 2020 – Convenors’ Award for Excellence decided by convenors.
- 2020 – Awards ceremony (details to be advised)
All discussions are confidential between the judges in each panel and the judging coordinator and/or the Aurealis Awards management team, as required. The Aurealis Awards judging coordinator will have no input into these decisions except to mediate panel issues.
Judges from previous Aurealis Awards processes are welcome—indeed encouraged—to re-apply. But, in the interests of transparency and impartiality, no one may judge the same category for more than two consecutive years, and a break of two consecutive years is required before a judge can reapply to be a judge in that particular category again.
Want to become a judge? Expression of interest form is here.