2021 Australian Shadows Awards Finalists Announced

The Australian Shadows Awards are annual literary awards presented by the Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA) to celebrate the best in horror and dark fiction published by an Australian/New Zealand/Oceania resident within the calendar year. Entries are judged on their overall effect within the horror genre based on the author’s skill, delivery, and lasting resonance.

Shortlists for categories including Non-Fiction, Poetry, Graphic novel, Edited Works, Collected Works, Long Fiction, Short Fiction and Novel, are determined by a panel of judges, and the shortlisted nominees are announced prior to the official category winner’s announcement a few weeks later.

This year, I had the honour of participating on the judging panel as convenor for the Poetry category. This category attracted many entries and the high quality of all work submitted showcased the talent lurking in our Australasian writers. It was a pleasure working with my fellow judges as we read and rated each poem, and we certainly had our work cut out for us when it came to deciding the shortlist. On behalf of the poetry judges, I’d like to commend all the authors for their submissions and congratulate those who made our shortlist. These poems stood out for excellence in writing, originality, and execution.

I’ve also had the honour of being a finalist in the Short Fiction category with my entry, The Best Medicine. I am so proud of this story. It’s having a wonderful journey through the literary world, starting with winning the 2020 AHWA Short Story competition, then published in Midnight Echo #16, translated for The Bar Immediately After, Mondi Incantati series with RiLL, Italy, and now a finalist in the Australian Shadows Awards Short Fiction category. Where will it take me next? Only the future knows.

For now, please congratulate this year’s Australian Shadow Awards finalists:


Vampire Poetry by Kyla Lee Ward (Hippocampus Press)

I’m Looking Right At You, HP Lovecraft by Jack Dann (IFWG)

The Curious Reclassification of Peter Benchley’s Jaws by Kris Ashton (Aurealis Magazine)

Capturing Ghosts on the Page by Kaaron Warren (Brain Jar Press)

Murder Down Under by Anthony Ferguson (Exposit Books)


“When The Girls Began To Fall” by Geneve Flynn (Tortured Willows: Bent. Bowed. Unbroken. Yuriko Publishing LLC)

“Sonnet for a Scarecrow” by Rebecca Fraser (Curioser Magazine, issue 1)

“Cheongsam” by Lee Murray (Tortured Willows: Bent. Bowed. Unbroken. Yuriko Publishing LLC)

“Guest of Honour” by Geneve Flynn (Tortured Willows: Bent. Bowed. Unbroken. Yuriko Publishing LLC)

“Snip” by P.S. Cottier (Midnight Echo 16, AHWA)

“Exquisite” by Lee Murray (Tortured Willows: Bent. Bowed. Unbroken. Yuriko Publishing LLC)


Frankie’s Drive-In Ozploitation Double Feature by Aaron Harvie (Badharvie)

Goetia by Robert Buratti (Sub Rosa Publishing)

The Mycelium Complex, Issue 2 by Daniel Reed (Nautilus Illustrations)


SNAFU: Holy War, edited by Amanda J Spedding and Geoff Brown (Cohesion Press)

Midnight Echo #16, edited by Tim Hawken (AHWA)

Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, edited by Deborah Sheldon (IFWG Publishing Australia)


The Tallow-Wife and Other Tales by Angela Slatter (Tartarus Press)

Tool Tales by Karron Warren (IFWG Publishing, Australia)

Seeds by Tabatha Wood (Wild Wood Books)

Inanimates by Joanne Anderton (Brain Jar Press)

Danged Black Thing by Eugen Bacon (Transit Lounge Publishing)


“Bad Apple” by Louise Pieper (Good Southern Witches, Curious Blue Press)

“A Good Big Brother” by Matt Tighe (Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, IFWG Publishing Australia)

“Tagged” by Chuck McKenzie (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine)

“The Best Medicine” by Pauline Yates (Midnight Echo 16, AHWA)

“The Steering Wheel Club” by Kaaron Warren (Giving the Devil His Due, Running Wild Press)


Ariadne, I Love You by J Ashley-Smith (Meerkat Press)

“The Waiting Room” by Matthew Davis (It Calls from the Doors, Eerie River Publishing)

Cryptid Killers by Alister Hodge (Severed Press)

“The Little One” by Rebecca Fraser (Coralesque and Other Tales to Disturb and Distract, IFWG Publishing)

Dirty Heads by Aaron Dries (Black T-Shirt Books)


Butcherbird by Cassie Hart

An Ill Wind by Martin Livings

The Girls Left Behind by J.P. Townley

Papa Lucy and the Boneman  by Jason Fischer

The Airways by Jennifer Mills

Merfolk by Jeremy Bates

Published by PYates


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