The Australian Shadows Award
is an annual literary award
established by the Australian Horror Writers Association
(AHWA) in 2005
to honour the best published work of horror fiction
written or edited by an Australian
. The award was sponsored by Altair Australia Books in its first two years, through the donation of two statuettes created by dark fantasy
(supplied by The Franklin Mint
Works are judged on their overall effect within the horror genre based on the author's skill, delivery, and the work's lasting resonance. Each year, a director is appointed by the AHWA to administer the award. Finalists are generally announced in March and winners in April/May of each year.
For its first four years, the Australian Shadows Award evaluated novels
, and short stories
against each other in a single category. In 2009, the award was expanded into three categories: Short Fiction, Long Fiction, and Edited Publication. A panel of three judges determine each year's shortlists and a guest judge in each category selects the winner from the respective shortlists. A cash prize of $250 Australian, plus a trophy and a certificate, are provided to the winner in each category.
In 2011, the categories of the award will expand to include Best Horror Novella and Best Horror Collection. The award does not yet have a specific category for poetry or criticism.