HarperCollins First Prize ($750 & ) Josephine Pennicott (NSW) for "Birthing the Demons".
Kill City Second Prize ($350) Jenne Clare ( Tas) for "Killing Him Softly"
The Cosmos Book & Music Third Prize ($150) Christa Ludlow (NSW) for "Double Header
Chronicles Bookshop Award for the Best Police Procedural ($150) Carol Wical (Qld) for "The Case of Friday Night Clive"
The Pulp Fiction Award for the Funniest Crime Story ($150 gift voucher) Janet A Stutley (Vic) for "Dead End"
Kerry Greenwood Malice Domestic Award ($250) Margaret Bevege (NSW) for "The Super Murder"
Simone Howell (Vic) for "Aloha Mike Love" &"The Mean Reds"
Barbara Yates-Rothwell (WA) for "Shark Bait"
Jo McGahey ( NSW) for "Stalker"
Christine Cave (NSW) for "The Night Valerie Parker"
Cindy Jones (NSW) for "A Taste of Things to Come"
Tehani Croft (NSW) for "Small Town Gossip"
Note: The Allen & Unwin Young Writers' Award ($250) was not awarded.
JOSEPHINE PENNICOTT WINS SCARLET STILETTO AWARD FOR BEST CRIME SHORT STORY
Sydney writer and artist, Josephine Pennicott, won the 8th Sisters in Crime Scarlet Stiletto Award for her short story "Feeding the Demons" Her award was presented in a gala ceremony in St Kilda hosted by poet Dorothy Porter in December 2001. Over 100 aspiring women crime writers from all over Australia competed for the award.
Ms Pennicott, who won second prize in the previous year’s competition, received $750 for the HarperCollins first prize plus a trophy - a scarlet stiletto shoe with a steel stiletto heel plunging into a mount. It was a big week for Ms Pennicott. As well as winning Australia’s top women’s crime award, Ms Pennicott had her first novel published, Circle of Nine. It is the first of a dark fantasy trilogy published by Simon & Schuster. The next in the series, Bride of the Stone, and A Fire in the Shell will be published in 2002 and 2003.
The Kill City second prize of $350 went to Launceston writer, Jeanne Clare, for her story, "Killing Him Softly". Sydney government lawyer, Christa Ludlow, took out the Cosmos Books and Music $150 prize for her story, "Double Header". A new $150 award, offered by Chronicles bookshop for the best police procedural, went to Brisbane author, Carol Wical for "The Case of Friday Night Clive". Melbourne writer, editor, singer and composer, Janet A Stutley, won a new $150 award offered by Brisbane bookshop, Pulp Fiction, for the funniest story for "Dead End". Historian and long-time Sydney Sisters in Crime member, Margaret Bevege, snagged the Kerry Greenwood $250 Malice Domestic Award for her story, "The Super Murder." Ms Bevege’s first crime novel, On Probation, was launched at the recent SheKilda Women Crime Convention.
Special commendations went to Simmone Howell (Melbourne), Barbara Yates-Rothwell (Yanchep Lagoon, WA) Jo McGahey (Sydney), Christine Cave (Queanbeyan), Cindy Jones (Sydney) and Tehani Croft (Glen Innes). The Allen & Unwin $250 Young Writers’ Award was not awarded.
Sisters in Crime spokesperson, Dr Sue Turnbull, who is writing Fatal Fascinations, a book about the appeal of crime fiction for women, said that the Scarlet Stiletto Award was easily Australia’s most lucrative crime-writing award for either gender. "This year the Scarlet Stiletto Award prize money amounted to over $2000, thanks to the fantastic support from Australian publishers and bookshops. It is a sign that crime fiction delivers to readers in ways that contemporary literary fiction does not," she said.
Dr Turnbull paid tribute to Dorothy Porter for breaking down the traditional between crime fiction and capital "L’ literature, not to mention poetry. "Porter’s lesbian erotic crime thriller in verse, The Monkey’s Mask, is lauded by both the literary establishment and crime fiction readers the world over. At the award ceremony, she floated the possibility of sponsoring a new Scarlet Stiletto award category for crime in verse," she said.
Dr Turnbull said that Sisters in Crime, Australia’s leading feminist crime fiction organisation, has 500 members nation-wide and established the Scarlet Stiletto Awards in 1994 to promote women’s crime fiction writing in Australia. It celebrated its 10th anniversary with the SheKilda Women’s Crime Convention held at St Kilda Town Hall last October and attended by 300 crime buffs. "The Scarlet Stiletto Award has nurtured many talented writers such as Cate Kennedy. Cate Kennedy won the first two Scarlet Stiletto Awards (1994, 1995) and recently won the Age Short Story Competition for the second year in a row, the first writer to ever achieve such a feat. Others such as Tara Moss (Fetish) and Patricia Scot Bernard (Deadly Sister Love) have gone on to have novels published," she said.
According to Dr Turnbull, the standard of entries in the 8th Scarlet Stiletto Awards was considerably higher than in previous years. "The judges were confronted with the usual batch of revenge fantasy stories where men – mostly husbands – get knocked off for no particular reason and the murderers – mostly wives – get away with it. However, the remainder of the stories revealed a much greater complexity. The female private investigator as sleuth has at last done her dash. Ordinary women are more likely to be the detectives – if they’re even featured at all. The stories were darker and edgier with more psychological depth. But what was missing from some of the stories was style, form and a strong voice. Sisters in Crime will continue to encourage innovation and to support new writers," she said.
The 9th Scarlet Stiletto Awards entry forms are available by writing to Sisters in Crime, GPO Box 5319 BB, Melbourne 3001 or on its website: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~sincoz/