Q Magazine - - Q Awards -

Sis­ters in Crime Aus­tralia’s 25th Scarlet Stiletto Awards were launched by Dr An­gela Sav­age at Mel­bourne’s Athenaeum Li­brary on 27 April. Al­most $10,000 is on of­fer in prize money. The event in­cluded dra­matic read­ings of three win­ning ‘body in the li­brary’ sto­ries – “Jane” by Nar­relle M Harris (read by Jane Clifton), “Caught on Cam­era” by Jenny Spence (read by Su­sanna Lobez) and “Brought to Book” by Kath Harper (read by Leigh Red­head).

Sav­age, the 2011 shoe win­ner and now Di­rec­tor of Writ­ers’ Vic­to­ria, de­clared the awards “a mile­stone for Aus­tralian crime – at least of the lit­er­ary per­sua­sion”.

The awards, she said, had “spring­boarded the ca­reers of many writ­ers, in­clud­ing my­self. To date, 3084 sto­ries have been en­tered with 23 Scarlet Stiletto Award win­ners –in­clud­ing cat­e­gory win­ners – go­ing on to have nov­els pub­lished. Like many of Sis­ters in Crime’s best ideas, it sprang from a well-lu­bri­cated meet­ing in St Kilda when the con­venors de­bated how they could un­earth the fe­male crim­i­nal tal­ent they were con­vinced was lurk­ing ev­ery­where. Once a com­pe­ti­tion was set­tled on, it didn’t take long to set­tle on a name – the scarlet stiletto, a fem­i­nist play on the tra­di­tions of the genre. The stiletto is both a weapon and a shoe worn by women. And of course, the colour scarlet has a spe­cial as­so­ci­a­tion for us as women. And they were right – tal­ent is lurk­ing ev­ery­where, some­times in the most un­likely places!”

The suc­cess and longevity of the awards have been hugely de­pen­dent on the gen­eros­ity of Aus­tralian pub­lish­ers, book­sell­ers, the film and tele­vi­sion in­dus­try, au­thors and other par­ties.

There are two brand-new awards on of­fer this year: Writ­ers Vic­to­ria Crime and Pun­ish­ment Award ($660) for the story with the most sat­is­fy­ing ret­ri­bu­tion (the win­ner gets a three-month spell in prison in the guise of a stu­dio res­i­dency at Old Mel­bourne Gaol) and the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Foren­sic Lin­guis­tics (IALF)Award for Best Foren­sic Lin­guis­tics Story ($1000).

IALF Pres­i­dent, Dr Ge­orgina Hey­don from RMIT, told the crowd that the award was de­signed to fos­ter un­der­stand­ing of foren­sic lin­guis­tics which uses a sci­en­tific ap­proach to lan­guage anal­y­sis in le­gal and crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

The full list of awards is:

· The Swin­burne Uni­ver­sity Award: 1st Prize: $1500 · The Si­mon & Schus­ter Award: 2nd prize: $1000 · The Sun Book­shop Award: 3rd Prize: $500 · The Fleurieu Con­sult Award for Best Young Writer (18 and un­der): $500 · The Athenaeum Li­brary ‘Body in the Li­brary’ Award: $1000 ($500 run­ner-up) · In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Foren­sic Lin­guists Award: $1000 for Best Foren­sic Lin­guis­tics Story · The Ev­ery Cloud Award for Best Mys­tery with His­tory Story: $750 · Kerry Green­wood Award for Best Mal­ice Do­mes­tic Story: $750 · Writ­ers Vic­to­ria Crime and Pun­ish­ment Award: $660 (stu­dio res­i­dency, Old Mel­bourne Gaol) for the Story with the Most Sat­is­fy­ing Ret­ri­bu­tion · HarperCollins Pub­lish­ers Award for Best Ro­man­tic Sus­pense Story: $500 · Scarlet Stiletto Award for Best Fi­nan­cial Crime Story: $500 · Clan Des­tine Press Award for Best Cross-genre Story: $500 · Liz Navratil Award for Best Story with a Dis­abled Pro­tag­o­nist Award: $400 · Scrip­tWorks Award for a Great Film Idea: $200

Nine col­lec­tions of win­ning sto­ries are avail­able from Clan Des­tine Press - https://clan­des­tine­press.com.au

Clos­ing date for the awards is 31 Au­gust 2018. En­try fee is $20 (Sis­ters in Crime mem­bers) or $25 (oth­ers). Max­i­mum length is 5000 words. The awards will be pre­sented at a cer­e­mony in Mel­bourne in late Novem­ber. To down­load an en­try form, pay the en­try fee and read the FAQs, go to https://www.sis­tersin­crime.org.au/the-scarlet-stiletto-awards

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