Become a Partner in Crime for the 17th Davitt Awards

Sisters in Crime Australia is appealing to members and supporters to donate towards its 17th Davitt Awards for best crime books by Australian women. This year, 99 crime books are in contention for the awards, due to be presented in Melbourne in late August.

“Become a partner in crime and give Australian women crime writers the recognition they so richly deserve,” urges Treasurer Robyn Byrne.

“Donations go towards the costs of fares and accommodation for the presenter and the winning authors plus a small fee for the compere and the costs of six trophies and engraved plaques, administrative costs and promotion.”

Robyn says that donations over $2 made through the Australian Cultural Fund are tax deductible.

“The deadline for donations through the ACF is 31 July but, if you donate by 30 June, you can claim your donation on this year’s tax return,” Robyn said.

Named in honour of Ellen Davitt (1812–79), who wrote Australia’s first full-length mystery novel, Force and Fraud in 1865, the first Davitt Awards  were presented by then Victoria Police Commissioner, Christine Nixon, in 2001 and attracted seven crime fiction entries.

“The huge increase in the number of books in contention are a testimony (in part) to Sisters in Crime’s efforts to nationally support and promote women crime writers,” Robyn said.

Awards are presented in six categories: Best Adult Novel; Best Young Adult Novel; Best Children’s Novel; Best Non-fiction Book; Best Debut Book; and Readers’ Choice (as voted by the 600 members of Sisters in Crime).

The trophies are handsome carved polished wooded trophies featuring the front cover of the winning novel under perspex. No prize money is attached.

Presenters are often overseas crime authors and have included Val McDermid (UK) twice, Karin Slaughter (USA), Sophie Hannah (UK), Shamini Flint (Singapore), Ǻsa Larrson (Sweden) and. Lauren Beukes (South Africa).

2016 Davitt winners were:

Best Adult Novel: Resurrection Bay (Echo Publishing) by Emma Viskic

Best Young Adult Novel: Risk (Penguin Random House) by Fleur Ferris

Best Children’s Crime Novel: Friday Barnes 2: Under Suspicion (Penguin Random House) by R.A. Spratt

Best Debut Book: Joint winners – Resurrection Bay (Echo Publishing) by Emma Viskic and Risk (Penguin Random House) by Fleur Ferris

Best Non-Fiction: Wild Man (Affirm Press) by Alecia Simmonds

Readers’ Choice: Resurrection Bay (Echo Publishing) by Emma Viskic

Special Judges’ Award: Time to Run (Pan Macmillan Australia) by J M Peace 

The ceremony offers great opportunities for networking with authors coming from all over Australia, even when their books are not in contention or they know they have not won. Readers greatly enjoy being able to meet their favourite authors and get them to sign their books. The Davitts Awards ceremony has a warm and supportive atmosphere and is great fun. No one dies…

Authors find winning a Davitt Award a huge boost to their morale and quickly add the news to their websites and Facebook pages. The recognition boosts their careers and makes them more likely to continue to get published and to get invited to speak at events and festivals.

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