Become a Partner in Crime for the 19th Davitt Awards

Sisters in Crime Australia is appealing to members and supporters to donate towards its 19th Davitt Awards for best crime books by Australian women.  (Click here to donate,)

This year, a record 127 crime books are in contention for the awards, due to be presented at a gala dinner on Saturday 31 August, 6.30 for 7pm,  at South Melbourne’s Rising Sun Hotel by award-winning NZ author, Joanne Drayton.  (Click here for bookings.)

“Become a partner in crime and give Australian women crime writers the recognition they so richly deserve,” urges Secretary & Carmel Shute.

The target is $2500. Donations will cover the costs of fares and accommodation for Dr Drayton and (where necessary) the six winning authors, a modest fee for the compere, and the costs of six trophies and engraved plaques, the event program and promotion, the PA and decorations.


Donations over $2 made through the Australian Cultural Fund are tax deductible. The deadline for donations is 24 August.


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 in 2001 were presented by then Victoria Police Commissioner, Christine Nixon, 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,” Carmel 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 500+ 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), Sissel-Jo Gazan (Denmark) and Lauren Beukes (South Africa).

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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