Australia does not have the same thriving culture of short story outlets as the US and UK, and the crime fiction genre seems even less well served than other genres. I don’t have any evidence other than my own observations but the romance and science-fiction genres do appear to both foster this kind of writing (via regular competitions and locally produced anthologies) as well as finding outlets in more mainstream publications. I suspect it is budding writers of the genre who suffer most from the absence of this outlet which is why it is so important that Sisters in Crime Australia runs an annual short story competition from which it gives the Scarlet Stiletto Awards.
The awards are for stories written by Australian women and featuring a strong female protagonist with the main purpose to support and unearth new talent. To date the awards have received 2181 entries and many of the previous winners have gone on to become published novelists which indicates just how important this method of fostering new writing is. There are now, in the 18th year of the awards being presented, multiple award categories.
The 2011 Awards were presented in Melbourne last night (25 November) and a partial list of winners is below (basically what I could find trawling twitter):
- Special commendations to Suzanne Gaskell (Vic), Amanda Carmen-Cromer (Tas), Robin Story (QLD), Marian Cox (NT), Kerry James (Vic), Amanda Wrangles (Vic)
- Allen & Unwin Young Writers Award: Sarah Robinson-Hatch (13 years old!) & Mary Evans
- Judges Award: Kim Westwood
- Scriptworks Great Film Idea Award: Fiona Drury
- Pulp Fiction Award for Funniest Crime Story: Sarah Evans (mother of the co-winner of the young writers award)
- Benn’s Books Best Investigative Award: Anne Cost
- Olvar Wood Late Starters Award (50+): Anne Cost
- Clandestine Press Cross-Genre Award: Liz Filleul
- Cate Kennedy Award for Best New Talent: Margeurite Johnson
- Kerry Greenwood Malice Domestic Award: Vicky Daddo
- Third prize: Carmela Salomon
- Second prize Liz Filleul
- First Prize: Angela Savage for a story entitled TEAR DROP TATTOO
Fair Dinkum Crime congratulates all the winners and we look forward to reading the stories when the annual anthology becomes available.
post updated 27/11/11 thanks to @angsavage