Judges are volunteers and are 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.
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 in a single category, which may comprise several dozen novels and/or more than a hundred short stories in the process of evaluating the year’s entries. Judges may keep their reading copies of entries. Categories are: Science Fiction Novel, Science Fiction Short Story, Fantasy Novel, Fantasy Short Story, Horror Novel and Horror Short Story, Young Adult Novel and Young Adult Short Story, Children’s Illustrated Picture Book and Children’s Fiction, Collection and Best Anthology, Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel.
Because fantasy and science fiction are the largest categories, they have been split into two separate judging panels, one for novels and one for short stories.
The Aurealis Awards accept some short fiction (up to ten thousand words) electronically. Judges of short fiction must be willing to accept and read entries in this format.
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 December, with all work published between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 eligible for entry. Shortlists from each panel will be required by March (firm dates will be advised), and prospective judges should be aware that this may be an intensive process.
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 unless a panel of judges is unable to reach a consensus.
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.
The winner of the Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for Excellence will be reached by a consensus of the convenors of each of the judging panels.
Each judge receives one complimentary ticket (non-transferrable) to the Aurealis Awards 2011 ceremony to be held in late April/early May 2012 in Sydney.
Expressions of interest in judging are welcomed until Sunday July 17, 2011. Please provide the following information to Judging Coordinator Tehani Wessely at editormum75 [at] gmail [dot] com, by this date.
2. Postal Address.
3. Email Address and telephone number.
4. Preferred judging categories (please provide at least three options, in order of preference).
5. A paragraph or two detailing relevant experience and reasons you would like to be a judge for the Awards.
The judging positions are open to Australian residents only.