2016 Ned Kelly Award Winners

The Ned Kelly Awards are proudly supported by:


We're happy to list the Winners of the Ned Kelly Awards in 2016.

Our judging panels are made up of booksellers, book industry luminaries, readers, critics, reviewers and commentators.

Their decisions are final, and the ACWA Committee thanks them most sincerely for their time, care, consideration and professionalism.

Best Fiction

Dave Warner

The eighth novel from songwriter Warner nails the brief: well-drawn characters you could swear you've met somewhere already, and an intriguing plot with roots in other places and other times, studded with incidents that ought to be bizarre but which Warner renders believable. What really raises this book above the pack, though, is a stunning sense of location: a depiction of Broome and its environment so vivid that you can practically taste it. Or, on occasion, run from it.

Best First Fiction

Emma Viskic

Emma Viskic offers a unique new take on the detective thriller – her protagonist, Caleb Zelic, is he is profoundly deaf. The diverse range of characters, good and bad, leave you wondering just who is on Caleb’s side – all the way to the explosive ending. Resurrection Bay has it all: betrayal, murder, lost-love, heartbreak – all delivered at a cracking pace.

True Crime

Gideon Haigh

In the hands of a more literally-minded crime writer, this book might have focused on the issue of the guilt or innocence of handsome and well-bred radio announcer John Bryan Kerr, charged with a 1949 murder. But that’s only the beginning of Haigh’s detective story. He has the investigator’s gift for finding hidden gems in dusty police files and court testimonies. He is also the researcher’s researcher, meaning that this crime narrative also doubles as an entertaining social history of Melbourne in the pre-television early 1950s.

S.D. Harvey Short Story Award

Roni O'Brien