Crime wave across Australia – 27 stories shortlisted for the 29th Scarlet Stiletto Awards

Sisters in Crime Australia is proud to announce that 27 stories by 25 authors have been shortlisted for its 29th Scarlet Stiletto Awards for best short stories written by Australian women. This year 195 stories have vied for a record $12,365 in prize money.

The shortlisted authors come from across Australia: In alphabetical order, they are: Danielle Angeli (SA); Kate Bevis (VIC); Kat Clay (VIC); Kirsty Connolly (NSW); Natalie Conyer (NSW); Catherine Craig (NSW); Nellie Crawford (WA); Brid Cummings (SA); Maryse Dubois (VIC); Jane Duran (ACT); Raina Han (NSW); Philomena Horsley (VIC); Tegan Huntley (WA); Katherine Kovacic (VIC); Lauren Loos (QLD); Kristen Mair (NSW); Nikki McWatters (NSW); Allison Mitchell (TAS); Kate O’Connor (NSW); Ann Penhallurick (NSW); Kimberly Riskas (VIC); Tansy Rayner Roberts (TAS); Fin J Ross (VIC); Debbie Terranova (QLD); Jem Tyley-Miller (VIC); Tegan Van der Linden (NSW); and Hayley Young (ACT).

Awards are presented in the following categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Young Writer (under 19), Emerging Writer (19-25); Art and Crime; ‘Body in The Library’ (including runner-up); Most Satisfying Retribution; Mystery with History; Malice Domestic; Cross-Genre; Thriller; Great Film Idea; and Best Disabled Protagonist.

All authors receive a framed certificate and, if lucky, they also win one of the 15 prizes on offer. The first-prize winner also scores a spectacular trophy – a scarlet stiletto shoe with a steel stiletto heel plunging into a mount.

Sisters in Crime National Co-convenor, Carmel Shute said that numbers were a bit down from 2021 and 2020 during the pandemic when 241 stories were entered two years running.

“Aspiring authors are just a lot busier this year. However, crime writers from across the nation have still come up with the goods – stories that entertain and sometimes even confront. They transport us to different places, different milieux, and different times, but what they have in common is women taking life (and sometimes death) into their own hands, in exciting, even enthralling, ways,” she said.

Nicole Chamoun, star of Troppo, will present the 29th Scarlet Stiletto Awards, at a gala dinner on Saturday 3 December, 6 for 6.30 pm, at the Rising Sun Hotel, 2 Raglan Street, South Melbourne. She will first discuss her life in crime with author and podcaster, Vikki Petraitis. T

Troppo is based on Crimson Lake by long-time Sisters in Crime member, Candace Fox. Attendees are invited to go ‘troppo’ with their attire with a prize for the best outfit—booking details to come.

The Scarlet Stiletto Awards national short story competition was established in 1994. To date, 4322 stories have been entered with 33 Scarlet Stiletto Award trophy or category winners going on to have books published: Cate Kennedy, Tara Moss, Annie Hauxwell, Angela Savage, Natalie Conyer, Fin J. Ross, Anna Snoekstra, Josephine Pennicott, Ellie Marney, Sarah Evans, Inga Simpson, Alex Palmer, Liz Filleul, Margaret Bevege, Patricia Bernard, Bronwen Blake, Jo McGahey, Cheryl Jorgensen, Kylie Fox, Simmone Howell, Emilie Collyer, Sandi Wallace, Aoife Clifford, Amanda Wrangles, Lois Murphy, Janis Spehr, TJ Hamilton, Dawn Farnham, Natalie Conyer, Fin J Ross, Anna Snoekstra, Suzanne Frankham, Julianne Negri, Hayley Camille, Veronica Lando, and Louise Bassett.

The competition prizes are kindly sponsored by Swinburne University of Technology; Melbourne Athenaeum; Every Cloud Productions; Writers Victoria; Sun Bookshop; Fremantle Press; Affirm Press; HQ Fiction; Clan Destine Press; Monash University; ScriptWorks; Kerry Greenwood; the Brisbane Chapter of Sisters in Crime; and the late Viliama Grakalic.

More info on the Scarlet Stiletto Awards:

Media comment: More information: Carmel Shute, Secretary & National Co-convenor,; 0412 569 356