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That time I made a shortlist and completely neglected to mention it

So, a few weeks ago (a month? something?) I had the totally surprising honor of becoming a finalist in the Australian Shadows Awards, in the category of Best Short Story for my most recently published piece ‘The Dead Way‘. I discovered this rather exciting news in the wee hours of the morning when my littlest woke me. I couldn’t quite believe it really and thought there had to have been some mistake.

I’m still not sure how it happened. I mean, I know it’s a good story – I LOVE that story – but there is so much amazing talent out there and they picked my story to be in the top 5, alongside some other really amazing writers whose work I admire!

It was a little mind blowing, and also felt a bit like a milestone for me. I’ve experienced the pure buzz that is getting nominated for something, and winning an award (SJV Best Collected Work), but that was for something I’d edited – this is the first time I’ve ever made a list for a story of my own.

And that’s pretty awesome.

I didn’t win, but the lovely Debbie Cowens (whose story also appeared in Baby Teeth – which took out the award for Best Edited Publication!) did, and I didn’t feel at all upset by that. It was an honor just to make the short list.

Being a finalist made me a little more confident in my writing, made me feel a little like actually, I must be kind of good at this thing, and that’s more valuable than any award.

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authors, writing

SJV Shortlist announced!

The shortlist for this years Sir Julius Vogel Awards has been released (see here). There are so many awesome writers on that list that I know personally, and I think for the first time ever I’ve read over half of the fiction on there. If you’re looking for good kiwi speculative fiction, that list is a great starting point 🙂

Attending the awards last year was a real highlight for me. Getting to cheer people as they went up to the stage, and enjoying some wine and laughter with new and old friends.

I know from experience that it’s a real thrill to be nominated, and an even bigger one to actually win an award. The SJV that Andi and I won for our work on Tales for Canterbury still takes pride of place in my room. Hopefully one day I’ll make the list for something of my own – I am thrilled that this year Andi has her wonderful novella This Other World (which can be found in the Winter Well anthology from Crossed Genres) on the list!! I remember reading the story for critique and telling her she’d get into the finals with it.

I’m in some ways pleased that I won’t be at Con this year and have the responsibility of voting as there is more than one category where I’d be hard pressed to pick just one. So congrats to everyone who made it onto the list, and good luck!! Looking forward to seeing how the people vote later in April.