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This starts out with some feel good, happy carefree plots but be prepared for the sobering finish.

Looking at the gender breakdown of the Aurealis winners and shortlists over time.

Aurealis SF Novel category:

Here is the breakdown by gender of the SF novel category for the history of the award:
Aurealis SF novel Shortlists
And here is the corresponding breakdown by gender of the SF Novel category winners for the history of the award:

Aurealis SF novel winners

But what of the shortlists? Here is the breakdown by gender for the shortlists for the SF novel category for the history of the award, by year:

Aurealis SF Novel shortlists column

What I feel I still need to chase down here, if the information can be found, is what was eligible for consideration for the shortlists for each of these years to have a look at that gender breakdown.

But here’s some fun facts for this category. Over the course of this category award, there have been 19 wins to 13 individuals: 4 women and 9 men. The 4 women are Marianne de Pierres, Kim Westwood, Maxine McArthur and Kate Orman and they each won this award once. 5 men have won this award more than once: K A Bedford (2), Damien Broderick (3), Sean Williams (2), Sean McMullen (2) and Greg Egan (2 – though he declined the second).

Aurealis Fantasy Novel category:

Shortlists by gender:
Aurealis Fantasy Novel shortlists


And the winners:
Aurealis Fantasy winners
And shortlists broken down by year for comparison:

Aurealis Fantasy Novel Shortlists column


Aurealis Horror Novel Category:

Shortlists by gender:


Aurealis horror novel shortlists

And the winners:
Aurealis Horror Novel winners
And shortlists broken down by year for comparison:
Aurealis Horror shortlists column

And YA Novel Category:

Shortlists by gender:
Aurealis YA shortlists
And the winners:


Aurealis YA Novel shortlists
And shortlists broken down by year for comparison:
Aurealis YA shortlists column


And finally, I thought it would be interesting to compare the above with the Ditmar novel category.

The Ditmars have been running a lot longer than the Aurealis Awards, are a popular vote by the attendees at Natcon and there is only one novel category:
Ditmar Novel Winners
Now, this is a pretty shocking pie chart. I think it presents case in point, Tansy’s Theory that as soon as you ask people to narrow their choice down to one, you [mostly] get a male winner. That 15% female winners, equates to 7 compared to 39 male winners: Cherry Wilder in 1978, Lucy Sussex in 1997, K J Bishop in 2004  and then Margo Lanagan (2009), Kaaron Warren (2010), Tansy Rayner Roberts (2011) and Kim Westwood (2012).

Or more importantly, here is where they sit chronologically:
Ditmar novel winners column

I need to do a proper comparison, but it feels like in most years, the SF novel beats out the Fantasy or YA to win the Ditmar. The other thing of note, is that the fantasy Aurealis category has some strong female novelists who appear multiple years on the shortlists and often have won several. These include Juliet Marillier, Sara Douglass, Glenda Larke, Marianne de Pierres, Isobelle Carmody.

I think these two awards gender breakdowns are interesting to compare to awards I already looked at, namely the lifetime achievement awards:
Peter Mac WinnersPeter Mc Convenors

All these awards represent narrowing the winner choice down to one person. The most interesting here is the Peter McNamara Convenors’ award, given the novel category gender breakdowns above.

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Whilst I slog away processing the full stats for the history of the Aurealis Awards, here’s some stats for the current shortlists. I think these will be interesting to compare against the average, when I have that. Being a creative publishing phd, I’m also very interested in publisher statistics. I’m in the process of thinking through performance indicators for various measurements of “success” and here I am playing around with some of the elements of those (how do you measure how successful you have been at executing what you set out to do? – Big thesis-ey question)

Here is the breakdown of shortlisted authors, editors and artists by gender:

Aurealis 2012 shortlists by gender

And this one is a breakdown of the lists by the publisher size:
Aurealis 2012 by publisher size


I’m also interested in looking at trends and changes in the publishing industry so the following graphs look at which publishers have what proportion of the shortlists – divided roughly into big publishers and indie; and also number of titles per publisher shortlisted.
Aurealis 2012 big publishers

Aurealis publishers indie

Aurealis 2012 titles per publisher


ETA one final plot, of the women shortlisted for the Aurealis Award in 2012, these were their publishers:

Aurealis 2012 women by publisher

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As part of prepping and researching for my phd candidacy application, I’m playing around with lots of gender numbers in Aussie specfic. This is actually going to be far more intensive and fiddly than I originally thought and I keep coming up with extra ideas and tangents to run off in. Meanwhile, I thought I might throw various plots and snippets here as I compile them. At the moment, nothing really is part of any narrative or train of thought. I’m just amusing myself as I compile a looooot of different sources of information into something usable.

Today I played around with the achievement oriented awards. So these are more to do with rewarding individuals for their contributions to Australian SF/F rather than rewarding a specific accomplishment in the preceding year (like the Ditmars or Aurealis). We have three main awards for these – the A Bertram Chandler which is awarded by a jury on behalf of the Australian SF Foundation; the Peter McNamara Achievement Award for lifetime achievement; and the Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for excellence.

So, first here are some pie charts of the breakdown of all winners for each award by gender:

Peter Mac Winners

Peter Mc Convenors


You can see we’re hovering around that 25-30% average Russ talks about. The Chandler and the Peter McNamara Convenors’ awards decisions are made by juries. I don’t have the breakdown of those at the moment. However, the Peter McNamara Achievement Award decision is made by one person. A different person is selected each year to make the decision. Here is the gender breakdown of these judges:

Peter Mac Judges

So the breakdown by gender of the judges is the same as for the winners. But interestingly, when you look at who chose whom, only one woman (Helen Merrick) chose to award the Achievement Award to a woman.

Then I thought it might be fun to look at how many people won more than one of these achievement awards – how diverse are each of these awards? In total, there were 47 winners of these three awards. These 47 wins were won by 37 individuals.

Population of Achieve AwardsWon two or more

8 individuals in the Australian SF community have won more than one achievement award but only one of these was a woman – Lucy Sussex. Shaun Tan and Terry Dowling have both won the Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for Excellence twice – the only ones to have done so. And just one person – Paul Collins – has won all three awards.

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