29th Scarlet Stiletto Awards now closed – a record $12,365 in prize money


Sisters in Crime’s 29th Scarlet Stiletto Awards for best short crime and mystery stories are offering a record $12,365 in prizes this year, up from $11,910 in 2021.

The first prize winner now takes home $2000, donated by Swinburne University of Technology, plus the coveted trophy, a scarlet stiletto shoe with a steel stiletto heel plunging into a mount. The Affirm Young Writer Award for under 19s has doubled to $1000. The HQ Fiction for Best Thriller is now also worth $1000. Fremantle Press is co-sponsoring the 3rd prize, now worth $750, with the Sun Bookshop.

Christina Lee, judges’ coordinator and winner of two trophies, said that the Scarlet Stiletto Awards were remarkable in their ability to uncover outstanding criminal talent.

“Winning a Scarlet Stiletto Award is so often the springboard to literary success. Townsville author Veronica Lando won 3rd prize in 2020 and says that gave her the drive to start, edit and finish her first full-length manuscript, The Whispering. It went on to win HarperCollins 2021 Banjo Prize and the book came out on 6 July. She is the 32nd Scarlet Stiletto Award winner (including category winners) to go on to have a novel published.

“For Dervla McTiernan, just being shortlisted in 2015 gave her the impetus to finish five drafts of her first novel, The Ruin, and put her on the road  to becoming a global publishing sensation.”

Since the awards began 29 years ago, 4137 stories have been entered.

This year Writers Victoria Award for the story with the ‘Most Satisfying Retribution’ now offers choice of an online course worth $215, instead of a residency in Old Melbourne Gaol. There is no longer an award for best environment story.

The full list of awards is:

Swinburne University Award: 1st Prize: $2000

Simon & Schuster Award: 2nd Prize: $1000

Sun Bookshop & Fremantle Press: 3rd Prize: $750

Affirm Press Award for Best Young Writer (under 19): $1000

Monash University Award for Best Emerging Writer (19-25): $500

Melbourne Athenaeum Library ‘Body in the Library’ Award: $1250 ($750 runner-up)

Clan Destine Press Award for Best Cross-genre Story: $750

Every Cloud Award for Best Mystery with History Story: $750

Kerry Greenwood Award for Best Malice Domestic Story: $750

Viliama Grakalic Art and Crime Award: $750

Writers Victoria for the Story with the Most Satisfying Retribution: Choice of online course, worth $215

HQ Fiction Award for Best Thriller: $1000

ScriptWorks Award for a Great Film Idea: $500

Liz Navratil Award for Best Story with a Disabled Protagonist Award: $400

Thirteen collections of winning stories are available: www.clandestinepress.net

Closing date for the awards is 31 August 2022. The entry fee is $25 or $20 for Sisters in Crime members. Maximum length is 5000 words.

The competition is open to all women, whether cisgender, transgender, or intersex, who are citizens/residents of Australia.

The shortlist will be announced in October and the awards will be presented at a ceremony in Melbourne in late November.

To download an entry form and a list of FAQs, go to:
https://www.sistersincrime.org.au/the-scarlet-stiletto-awards/ NOTE THE CHANGE OF ADDRESS FOR ENTRIES!

To pay the entry fee, click here: scarletstiletto2022.eventbrite.com

To send the pdf, click here: ssawards2022@gmail.com

Additional information: Carmel Shute, Secretary, and National Convenor, 0412 569 356: admin@sistersincrime.org.au; www.sistersincrime.org.au