Ditmar Awards 2010 – recommendations summary

I’ve posted a bunch of stuff over the last few weeks about my recommendations for this year’s Ditmar Awards, so to make it easy for the casual browser, I’ve compiled my recommendations and the links to the original posts (which explain in greater detail my choices and offer some extra information) right here.

So in summary, I’ve given the thumbs up to:


  • The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin (Hachette Australia)
  • Shadow Queen by Deborah Kalin (Allen & Unwin)
  • Worldshaker by Richard Harland (Allen & Unwin)
  • Slights by Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot)


  • “The Message” by Andrew J. McKiernan (Midnight Echo #2, AHWA)
  • Phoenix and the Darkness of Wolves by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (Damnation Books)
  • After the World: Gravesend by Jason Fischer (Black House)

Short Story

  • “Shadow of Drought” by Joanne Anderton (Midnight Echo #2)
  • “Six Suicides” by Deborah Biancotti (A Book of Endings)
  • “Black Water” by David Conyers (Jupiter #24)
  • “Losing Tahlia” by Jason Crowe (Midnight Echo #2)
  • “Chasing Jormungand” by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (ASIM #38)
  • “Wrack” by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (Shards)
  • “for want of a jesusman” by Jason Fischer (Aurealis #42)
  • “Behind Dark Blue Eyes” by Robert Hood (Exotic Gothic 3)
  • “The Dumbshow” by Andrew J. McKiernan (Masques)
  • “A Tour in the City of Assassins” by Kyla Ward (Ticon4)
  • “The Gaze Dogs of Nine Waterfall” by Kaaron Warren (Exotic Gothic 3)
  • “Black Peter” by Marty Young (Festive Fear)

Collected Work

  • Shards by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (Brimstone Press)
  • Midnight Echo #2, edited by Angela Challis & Shane Jiraiya Cummings (AHWA)
  • Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror Volume 3, edited by Angela Challis (Brimstone Press) **
  • Slice of Life by Paul Haines (The Mayne Press)
  • Festive Fear, edited by Stephen Clark (Tasmaniac Publications)
  • Grants Pass, edited by Amanda Pillar & Jennifer Brozek (Morrigan Books)
  • Eclecticism, edited by Craig Bezant (Dark Prints Press)

** A bit of trivia: none of the Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror anthology series has ever been nominated for any Australian awards. Volume 3, published in 2009, was the last.


  • Andrew J. McKiernan (for Shards illustrations)

Fan Artist

  • Dave Schembri (for Midnight Echo)

Fan Publication

  • HorrorScope, edited by Shane Jiraiya Cummings et al.
  • ScaryMinds, edited by Jeff Ritchie [a late new entry!]
  • A Writer Goes on a Journey, edited by Nyssa Pascoe
  • Specusphere, edited by Stephen Thompson
  • Studies in Australian Weird Fiction, edited by Benjamin Szumskyj

Fan Writer

  • Talie Helene (HorrorScope)
  • Chuck McKenzie (Horrorscope)
  • Shane Jiraiya Cummings (HorrorScope)
  • Stephanie Gunn (HorrorScope)
  • Craig Bezant (Horrorscope)
  • Matthew Tait (HorrorScope)
  • Tony Owens (HorrorScope)
  • Troy King (HorrorScope)
  • Mark Smith-Briggs (Horrorscope)
  • Brenton Tomlinson (Horrorscope)
  • Robert Hood (Horrorscope and Undead Backbrain)
  • Juliet Bathory (Sinister Reads)
  • Satima Flavell (Specusphere)


  • Angela Challis for the Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror series  [a late new entry]
  • Marty Young for his five years work as President (and founder) of the Australian Horror Writers Association.
  • Talie Helene for her work as AHWA News Editor.
  • Juliet Bathory for Sinister Reads.

William Atheling Jr Award

  • “The Dead Walk! … Into a Bookstore Near You” by Chuck McKenzie (Eye of Fire #1, August 2009, Brimstone Press)

New Talent

  • Stephen M. Irwin
  • H. M. Brown
  • Greig Beck
  • Deborah Kalin
  • Jason Crowe
  • Pete Kempshall
  • Christopher Green

I have one more Ditmar post left in me. It will be about my own work and its place in the Aussie spec fic landscape from last year. There may well be some freebies attached to that post, but this is to be confirmed. Stay tuned!



  1. Thanks Shane for the list. Technically “Black Water” comes in at 8,500 words, so I think it fits the novella category.

    Can you tell me, where do I go online to make nominations this year?


  2. Shane Jiraiya Cummings says:

    No worries, David, and thanks for the clarification!

    If you bear with me, the next post will have info/links about nominating. I’ll also put something on HorrorScope.

  3. Eh, hum: What about the winners of the 2009 AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction comp?

    • Shane Jiraiya Cummings says:

      Hi Eugene,

      I completely forgot about them. That was your story, “Labour Pains” and Jason Fischer’s “Busking”, right? They were both published in Midnight Echo #3, if I’m not mistaken. By all means, these are worthy of people’s consideration.

  4. That’s right, Shane. Thought I’d give you a little nudge to remind you 🙂