Hi writers and readers - Sisters in Crime Australia held the 2010 Davitt Awards for the best published crime books by Australian women on Saturday night.  Our guest presenter was the marvellous Val McDermid who is out in Australia for the Melbourne Writers Festival.  The winners of the awards are:

 

Best Adult Crime Fiction Book ~ Marianne Delacourt for "Sharp Shooter"

Best True Crime Book ~ Candace Sutton and Ellen Connelly for "Lady Killer: How Conman Bruce Burrell Kidnapped and Killed Rich Women for their Money"

Best Young Adult Crime Book ~ Justine Larbalestier for "Liar"

Readers Choice ~ Kerry Greenwood for "Forbidden Fruit"

 

A fabulous night was had by all and we salute the winners and those who were shortlisted as well as the publishers who continue to publish excellent crime fiction and true crime by Australian women.

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Why no men???
It's an award for women writers supported by Sisters in Crime. It was started 10 years ago when women writers barely got a look in with the Ned Kelly Awards which are the main crime fiction awards in Australia. It's a way of supporting, promoting and recognising Australian women crime writers. I add before the argument comes up, we love our men writers but the organisation advocates on behalf of female writers.
I'm sorry, but I oppose any award that leaves out the other half. In the end, people can still say, 'But they wouldn't have won if it hadn't been for women only." Take up the complaints with the Ned Kelly people. Women are a lot better off competing at large and winning at large.
fair enough, that's your perogative. thanks for your feedback.
Sisters in Crime is a organisation for the writers and readers of women's crime fiction. Here in Australia, we lovingly call our our male members - who are also fans - our Brothers-in-Law.
We run an annual short story competition - the Scarlet Stiletto Awards - to encourage more women of all ages to take up crime and mystery writing; and the Davitt Awards for published novels (and true crime) are only for women writers because (and I repeat the first sentence) Sisters in Crime is an organisation for the writers and readers of women's crime fiction.
A woman has never won the Ned Kelly Awards. Although crime writer Marele Day once won a category for a book on how to to write a crime novel.
The boys who run the Ned Kellys pretty much think that only boys write can crime fiction.
So you can 'oppose' it all you like IJ, but that's the way it is.
For us it's a celebration of women's crime writing - not a competition.
Well, ok. I see a point here. Shame on the Ned Kellys. I guess I just haven't become angry enough about discrimination.
Thank you Lindy - you are far more eloquent and logical than me.
Worth noting as well that all 4 books were published by Allen & Unwin - their support of local writers is hugely appreciated by this reader anyway.
The plot thickens. :)

You know, we've had some controversy here in the U.S. also. The Edgars were attacked years ago. Then they seemed to favor women and were attacked again. I've judged for the Shamus, and got very angry when our choice of a male winner was questioned by women. It's clearly entirely possible that some years the guys have the better writers. I suppose, it would be more interesting to see who all is nominated, though that too may be inconclusive.
So, taking Alan Wilson's comment, I'm back to opposing gender-specific awards.
Hmm - not sure whether Alan was meaning that Ned Kelly (the bushranger after whom the awards were named) was always kind to women (back in the late 1800s); or that the Ned Kelly Awards have been 'kind' to women.
The first is amusing; the second is patronising. (I'm pretty sure he was being funny.)
Oh, and I take it back about NO woman ever winning a Neddy.
Gabrielle Lord won in 2002.
So I suppose, one in 13 years is quite kind.
And women have been well represented in the non-fiction stakes; with 3 of the 9 winning for True Crime; and Marele Day getting hers for How To Write Crime.
Marele actually won a Shamus Award for her crime novel the Last Tango of Dolores Delgado - back in the dim dark 1990s. Not sure, but I think she was the first non-American to win won. Or maybe just the first Aussie.
And I'll simply say again, that SISTERS in Crime is an organisation for the writers and readers of women's crime fiction. Us giving a Davitt Award to a bloke would be like the Americans awarding a World Series Baseball trophy to a club from Melbourne - it being part of the 'world'.
Both the Neddys and the Davitts are prestigious down here.
But another thing to consider is that the Ned Kelly Awards are 'convened' once a year for the awards themselves.
WHile Sisters in Crime holds events, functions, debates, book launches, panel discussions, you-name-it, throughout the year; and have done EVERY year for nearly two decades.
All the issues mentioned above make me question how valuable awards are any more. It's great to be recognized, but when there's so much stigma attached to it, is it worth it?

I'm not saying these are worthless recognitions. The winners are no doubt talented and deserving.
Colleagues, the point of my original post was to congratulate people who were honoured by winning a Davitt Award. Some people may object to gender-specific awards (and they're entitled to) but our winners were chuffed to be recognized. In that spirit, I'd ask that we continue the current debate in a separate thread and let our winners enjoy the moment without feeling they are a 'laugh'.

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