The Aurealis Awards are coming up soon.
I don’t bring that up just to immodestly mention the fact that I am a three-time nominee for Australia’s premiere awards for speculative fiction, nominated by the wider community of writers, readers and fans, and selected by a judging panel of heroic and dedicated volunteers who winnow sometimes hundreds of entries down to a shortlist of the finest examples of the cutting edge of the art, engaging in agonising and sometimes bruising debates until finally a winner emerges.
(Why would I? I’ve never won!)
No, in this case I bring it up because for my sins, I’m helping to organise the award ceremony this year. The awards move around from one community organisation to the next, and for the next few years the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild will be playing host. So save the date – Saturday 28 May – because the awards will be streamed out from a live event in Canberra where, we hope, luminaries from across the Oz spec fic scene will gather for the first time in…well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Depending on how things go in the Federal election the weekend before, people may be feeling understandably reticent to come to the national capital, so to entice visitors, we’ll be putting on a bit of a show. In addition to the ceremony, the Aurealis committee are hosting a writers’ development afternoon. There’ll be a few panels, some workshops, and the first opportunity after a long break for people to get together with friends and colleagues to network (by which I obviously mean eat, chat and be merry).
The details are still to be worked out, but it’s definitely happening. So if you have the means and the will to travel to Canberra and be in a big room with actual live people, make your plans accordingly. The end of May fast approaches.
(It approaches too fast, now that I think about it. I’ve no idea what I’ll wear).