When I started writing genre fiction in Australia, I had no idea about where to develop my skills or how to connect with the writing community. After being in the industry for several years, I’ve put together a list of resources for Australian genre fiction writers.
My biggest recommendation to new authors or people looking to connect with authors is to attend a local writing conference. This is how I met many of the people who became my friends and supporters in my writing career.
Another great way to find out about writing opportunities and events is joining your state-based writers centre. I am a member of Writers Victoria as well as several genre specific associations. I also recommend signing up for the email newsletters from every centre – it’s free!
I hope this helps, and if there’s anything I’ve missed, please send me an email to [email protected] and I’ll add it to the list.
Australian Writers Centres
- Writers Victoria
- Writing NSW
- WestWords – Western Sydney Writers Centre (honestly I wish this existed when I grew up in Penrith)
- Writers SA
- Queensland Writers Centre
- Northern Territory Writers’ Centre
- Writing WA
- Australian Writers’ Centre – offers online and in person courses across different states and territories
Australian Genre Fiction Writers Associations
- Australian Society of Authors – offers advice, opportunities and events for emerging and established authors
- Australasian Horror Writers Association
- Australian Science Fiction Foundation
- Aussie Speculative Fiction Facebook group
- Romance Writers of Australia
- Sisters in Crime
- Australian Crime Writers Association
- SFWA – Science Fiction Writers of America – Although not an Australian association, they have excellent publishing resources and guides
Writing Resources and Courses
- Arts Law Centre – provides low-cost legal advice and resources across a wide-range of issues for members.
- Australian Copyright Council – not just information on copyright but lending rights and creative grants
- Comics Mastermind – courses and resources on writing comics
- Kill Your Darlings – while a literary magazine, KYD often has speculative fiction courses, articles and the occasional trivia night
Annual Awards and Competitions
Here is a list of annual genre specific prizes and competitions. I haven’t included every prize, simply because there are many literary awards that don’t necessarily favour genre fiction authors.
- Aurealis Awards – juried annual award for science fiction, fantasy and horror fiction, non-fiction and art.
- Ditmar Awards – annual award for science fiction, fantasy and horror as voted by the members of the national science fiction convention (Natcon).
- Tin Duck Awards – for speculative fiction by Western Australian Writers
- Norma K Hemming Award – marking excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class or disability in speculative fiction
- Australian Shadows Awards – AHWA’s annual horror writing awards
- Scarlet Stiletto Awards – run by Sisters in Crime annually for the best crime short stories by female writers
- Davitt Awards – also run by Sisters in Crime annually for the best crime books by female authors in Australia
- Ned Kelly Awards – annual prize for the best crime books in Australia
- Romance Writers of Australia – several contests held through the year including the Ruby Awards for the romantic book of the year.
- Text Prize for young adult and children’s writing
- The Ampersand Prize – young adult and middle-grade fiction
- black&write! writing fellowship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers
Writing Conferences and Events
Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror
- Natcon – The Australian National Science Fiction convention alternates between Swancon, Continuum and Conflux with some occasional exceptions. Usually attracts a bigger crowd and international guest of honour.
- Swancon – Easter long weekend. Western Australian speculative fiction convention, location varies
- Continuum – Queen’s birthday long weekend. annual Melbourne speculative fiction convention
- Conflux – ACT Labor Day long weekend. annual Canberra speculative fiction convention
- Speculate – Melbourne speculative fiction writers festival
- Speculative Fiction Festival – Sydney based speculative fiction writing conference, organised with Writing NSW. Sign up to Writing NSW email newsletter for updates
- Romance Writers of Australia Annual Conference – location changes annually
- Terror Australis – Murder She Wrote – Huon Valley, Tasmania
- She Kilda – occasional crime writing festival held by Sisters in Crime, sign up to their newsletter for updates
- Genrecon – biennial genre fiction writing conference
- Indie Comicon – for independent Aussie comics
- Melbourne City of Literature – the Melbourne City of Literature website has an event calendar, which you can subscribe to based on your interests
Science fiction, fantasy and horror
- Worldcon – will be in New Zealand in 2020 (a rare southern hemisphere appearance for this globetrotting convention). Hugo awards are announced at Worldcon.
- Geysercon – New Zealand’s annual speculative fiction convention
- World Fantasy Convention – international professional convention for fantasy, horror and speculative fiction authors
- Stokercon – International conference for horror writers where the Bram Stoker Awards are announced. Location changes each year.