The Ned Kelly Awards

The Ned Kelly Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prizes honouring our published crime fiction and true crime writing.

The awards began in 1995 after a group of crime writers, academics, publishers and journalists hatched the plan over a long Sydney lunch. Among those present were Peter Milne from Abbey’s bookshop, academic Noel King, crime novelist John Dale and Stuart Coupe, journalist and co founder/co editor of Mean Streets crime magazine.

When it came to deciding on a name, co-opting the nation’s most infamous villain seemed a natural fit. Known affectionately as ‘The Neds’, the awards have grown in importance and scope with more categories, more entries and greater acclaim for the winners, who read like a Who’s Who of Australian crime writing.

Today the categories are Best Fiction, Best First Fiction, True Crime and the Sandra Harvey Short Story Award. Now run by the Australian Crime Writers Association, there are plans to move the Ned Kelly Awards around Australia. 

Thanks to the support of ACWA members, the generosity of various publishers and grants received from Copyright Agency Limited (CAL), we aim to make the Ned Kelly Awards a highlight of the Australian publishing and literary calendar, promoting the very best crime writing this country has to offer.