Sisters in Crime

Literature & Publishing


The 19th Davitt Awards for the best books by Australian women will be presented by award-winning NZ crime writer, Joanne Drayton at a gala dinner at the Rising Sun Hotel, South Melbourne, Saturday 31 August, 6.30pm.

Days Left

Sisters in Crime Australia was created in 1991 to celebrate Australian women’s crime writing.
The Davitts Awards for the best crime books by Australian women were launched at the SheKilda Women’s Crime Convention in 2001.

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 attracted seven crime fiction entries.

This year, a record 127 books published in 2018, are competing for the Davitts, a testimony (in part) to Sisters in Crime’s efforts to nationally support and promote women crime writers.

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 Sisters in Crime members).

Prior to the presentations, Dr Drayton will discuss her life in crime with Melbourne author (and serial Davitt winner) Emma Viskic,

The Davitts play a crucial role in gaining women crime writers long-overdue recognition. The winning books are heavily promoted and receive considerable media attention. Publishers trumpet the results and often produce stickers to go on the winning books or print ‘Winner of the Davitt Award’ as a strapline on subsequent editions.

Winners get a huge fillip to their careers (and morale). The Davitts make them more likely to continue to keep writing, get published and be invited to speak at events and festivals. The awards offer great opportunities for authors to network and to meet readers. All short-listed books will be on sale thanks to the Sun Bookshop.

Attendees get to hear from award-winning author Dr Drayton about her biography of New Zealand’s most famous crime writer, Ngaio Marsh, and also Anne Perry, author of over 50 Victorian-era mysteries. As a teenager, Anne was convicted of participating in the murder of her friend’s mother, as immortalised in the movie, Heavenly Creatures.

Sisters in Crime needs $2500 to create a ceremony worthy of so many literary talents.

Donations will cover the costs of fares and accommodation for Dr Drayton and the six winning authors, a modest fee for the compere, and the costs of six trophies and engraved plaques, the event program and promotion, PA and decorations.

The aim to is create the best Davitt Award ceremony ever, where authors are properly honoured and network with each other and readers have the opportunity engage with each other and all the authors present, not just those with books in contention.

We want everyone to leave more informed about the pioneering biographies researched and written by Dr Drayton. We also want the awards to be fun. Sisters in Crime’s motto for events is “where a good crime is had by all”.

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Celebrating Women’s Crime Writing Since September 1991.

The aim is to celebrate women’s crime writing on the page and screen and bring a collective critical eye to the field. To share our collective passion for women’s crime writing.

To bring together women crime writers, screen-writers, producers, booksellers, publishers, lawyers, judges, police, forensic specialists, librarians, academics, and critics but in the main, readers and viewers.

To discuss and analyse books, film and television shows, law and justice issues, new trends and critical issues of the crime genre.

To explore the contemporary issues at the heart of much crime fiction as well as dissecting its rich history.

To promote the professional development of women crime writers, especially emerging writers.

To provide opportunities for networking between writers, publishers and producers and between writers and their readers and viewers.

To have fun – and lots of it.

We have strong membership with chapters in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane Events are open to members of the public.

In Melbourne, Sisters in Crime hosts a busy yearly calendar of events including interview panels, debates and book launches. Sisters in Crime has no paid staff – just keen volunteers. .


Philip Copsey




Victoria Ryan