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Norma K. Hemming Award
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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The Norma K. Hemming Award is given to a work produced either in Australia or by an Australian citizen, and which 'marks excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability'.

From 2017, the award was switched to biannual (with 2018's award being for works published in both 2016 and 2017), and the website was relaunched.


Norma K. Hemming Award page at the Australian Science Fiction Foundation website ( (Sighted: 7/5/2014)

Official Norma K. Hemming Award website ( (Sighted: 25/1/2018)


  • The Norma K. Hemming Award is offered for excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, class and sexuality in science fiction produced either in Australia or by Australian citizens and first published in the calendar year preceding the year in which the award is given.

    The award was first offered in 2010 and launched at Aussiecon 4 in Melbourne. It is sponsored and administered by the Australian Science Fiction Foundation (ASFF). The award will not necessarily be presented annually; it will be awarded when the judges deem a work meets an appropriate standard of excellence.

    Source: Australian Science Fiction Foundation website,
    Sighted: 15/09/2010

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2020

winner Short Form y separately published work icon Winter's Tale Nike Sulway , Yokine : Titania , 2019 17342545 2019 single work children's fiction children's

'Winter's Tale is an illustrated book about a child called Winter, who has never had a proper home. A child who is looking for parents and a family, and a sense of belonging. A child who sees magic in graffiti and a blue hare in the moon. Who meets a girl with a skateboard and learns to fly; who finds a home, with the most curious of families. Winter's Tale is a story about finding your true self and your true home; about family and belonging; about art, magic and freedom.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

joint winner Long Form y separately published work icon From Here On, Monsters Elizabeth Bryer , Sydney : Picador , 2019 16432719 2019 single work novel fantasy

'In a city locked in a kind of perpetual twilight, an antiquarian bookseller accepts a very strange commission - the valuation of a rare codex. Within its fragile pages is the story of another book, another codex, but unravelling the mystery may mean unravelling the nature of reality itself...

'A noirish mystery. A speculative fiction with a social conscience. An unbridled imagination, and a scholar's bibliomanic preoccupations. From Here On, Monsters stretches the boundaries of what we consider fiction in weird and totally wonderful ways...'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

joint winner Long Form y separately published work icon Ghost Bird Lisa Fuller , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2019 16861510 2019 single work novel young adult

'Remember daughter, the world is a lot bigger than anyone knows. There are things that science may never explain. Maybe some things that shouldn’t be explained.

'Stacey and Laney are twins – mirror images of each other – and yet they’re as different as the sun and the moon. Stacey works hard at school, determined to get out of their small town. Laney skips school and sneaks out of the house to meet her boyfriend. But when Laney disappears one night, Stacey can’t believe she’s just run off without telling her.

'As the days pass and Laney doesn’t return, Stacey starts dreaming of her twin. The dreams are dark and terrifying, difficult to understand and hard to shake, but at least they tell Stacey one key thing – Laney is alive. It’s hard for Stacey to know what’s real and what’s imagined and even harder to know who to trust. All she knows for sure is that Laney needs her help.

'Stacey is the only one who can find her sister. Will she find her in time?'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2019

winner Short Fiction Pinion Stephanie Gunn , 2018 single work novella fantasy
— Appears in: Aurum : A Golden Anthology of Australian Fantasy 2018; (p. 65-104)
joint winner Long Work y separately published work icon City of Lies Sam Hawke , Sydney : Bantam Press , 2018 14050679 2018 single work novel fantasy

'I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me...

'Jovan wears two faces. Outwardly, he is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible heir. He’s quiet. Forgettable even. But in truth he is a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family. Then there is his sister, Kalina. She hides her frustrations behind a mask of serenity. While other women of the city holds positions of power and responsibility, her path is full of secrets and lies - some hidden even from her own brother.

'It's when the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city that the siblings' world begins to truly unravel. Trapped and desperate, they soon discover that the society into which they were born and grew up also possesses two faces - for behind the sophistication and the beauty lies an ugly truth - this is a world built on oppression and treachery ...'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

joint winner Long Work y separately published work icon Mother of Invention Tansy Rayner Roberts (editor), Rivqa Rafael (editor), Australia : Twelfth Planet Press , 2018 12913318 2018 anthology short story essay

'An ambitious anthology from award-winning Australian publishing house Twelfth Planet Press, Mother of Invention will feature diverse, challenging stories about gender as it relates to the creation of artificial intelligence and robotics.

'From Pygmalion and Galatea to Frankenstein, Ex Machina and Person of Interest, the fictional landscape so often frames cisgender men as the creators of artificial life, leading to the same kinds of stories being told over and over. We want to bring some genuine revolution to the way that artificial intelligence stories are told, and how they intersect with gender identity, parenthood, sexuality, war, and the future of our species. How can we interrogate the gendered assumptions around the making of robots compared with the making of babies? Can computers learn to speak in a code beyond the (gender) binary?

'If necessity is the mother of invention, what exciting AI might come to exist in the hands of a more diverse range of innovators?'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner Short Fiction y separately published work icon Coral Bones Foz Meadows , United Kingdom (UK) : Abaddon Books , 2016 9529681 2016 single work novella fantasy

'Miranda, daughter to Prospero, the feared sorcerer-Duke of Milan, stifles in her new marriage. Oppressed by her father, unloved by Ferdinand, she seeks freedom; and is granted it, when her childhood friend, the fairy spirit Ariel, returns. Miranda sets out to reach Queen Titania’s court in Illyria, to make a new future...'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

winner Long Work y separately published work icon Terra Nullius Claire G. Coleman , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2017 11354750 2017 single work novel science fiction

'In the near future Australia is about to experience colonisation once more. What have we learned from our past? A daring debut novel from the winner of the 2016 black&write! writing fellowship.

''Jacky was running. There was no thought in his head, only an intense drive to run. There was no sense he was getting anywhere, no plan, no destination, no future. All he had was a sense of what was behind, what he was running from. Jacky was running.'

'The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to have a nation of peace, and to bring the savages into line. Families are torn apart, reeducation is enforced. This rich land will provide for all.

'This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history. This TERRA NULLIUS is something new, but all too familiar.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2016

Year: 2016