Resources for Australian Genre Fiction Writers

Writer with beard in cafe working

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

Australian Genre Fiction Writers Associations

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

Crime

  • 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

All genres

  • 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

International conferences

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.

Romance

Crime

  • Bouchercon – World Mystery Convention
  • Noircon – biennial conference on noir writing. While it wasn’t held in 2018, it is likely to be back in 2020.

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