It's positively criminal!

A must-have for budding crime writers (and established writers too) is the Australian publication ‘If I Tell you...I’ll have to kill you’, a deadly collection of essays in which Australia’s leading crime writers reveal their innermost and darkest secrets. This informative and often hilarious ‘how-to’ book was edited by the lethal Michael Robotham, and contributors include Kerry Greenwood, Shane Maloney, Peter Corris, Garry Disher, Michael Robotham, Gabrielle Lord, Katherine Howell, Malla Nunn, Peter Lawrance, Tara Moss and many more. If nothing else, their tales prove that there is no ‘right’ way to write. Cover photo courtesy of Allen & Unwin.



The Ned Kelly Awards are run by the Australian Crime Writers Association (ACWA) and are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prizes awarded to honour the country’s best crime fiction and true crime writing.



The book of my enemy has been remaindered

And I rejoice.

It has gone with bowed head like a defeated legion

Beneath the yoke. – Clive James.



If you’re a crime writer, reader, publisher, editor, filmmaker, reviewer or blogger, the Australian Crime Writers Association (ACWA) is where the bodies are buried. Whether you’re a writer or a reader, you too can become a member; some of our best crime and mystery writers are.


The Australian Crime Writers Association periodically recognises writers, publishers, reviewers, bloggers or fans who have made an outstanding contribution to the genre in Australia.


Looking for some excellent reading in the crime/mystery genre? It would be criminal not to check out the superb writers in the ACWA Hall of Fame below (for more detailed biographies, visit the ACWA website at

1995: JON CLEARY Jon Cleary was the author of 29 novels, including the bestselling classic The Sundowners, which has sold over three million copies worldwide. Cleary’s most famous creation, however, was without a doubt Scobie Malone, a Sydney homicide detective who first appeared in 1966’s The High Commissioner and went on to feature in 19 more novels over the next 28 years. Jon Cleary died on 19 July 2010, aged 92.

1997: ALAN YATES (aka CARTER BROWN)Alan Geoffrey Yates (aka Carter Brown) wrote under many different names, but it was writing as Peter Carter Brown, then later Carter Brown (dropping the ‘Peter’ for the US market), that he became am international bestselling pulp fiction author with 322 Carter Brown novels published in Australia, overseas and in translation, with a reportedly 120 million CB books in print.

1999: PETER CORRISAn academic and journalist, Peter Corris published his first novel in 1980, and became a full-time writer in 1982. Peter has published nearly 70 fiction and non-fiction titles since then, although he is best known for the highly addictive Cliff Hardy series. The third Cliff Hardy title, The Empty Beach, was made into a classic of Australian noir starring Bryan Brown in 1985. Visit Peter Corris’s website at for more about his many books.

2001: STEPHEN KNIGHTStephen Knight, an academic and lecturer in both Australia and the UK, is now retired and currently Honorary Research Professor of English Literature at the University of Melbourne. He has published a large number of books exploring his areas of academic interest in English literature, medieval literature and crime fiction. In 1997 he published Continent of Mystery: A Thematic History of Australian Crime Fiction. His most recent book is The Mysteries of the Cities: Urban Crime Fiction in the Nineteenth Century (2012).

2002: PATRICK GALLAGHER, Managing Director, Allen & UnwinPatrick Gallagher little thought when he arrived in Australia in 1976 to start a list of academic books for Allen & Unwin that A&U would end up publishing Peter Corris, Marele Day, Barry Maitland, Kerry Greenwood and a host of household names in Australian crime writing. As both a reader and publisher, crime fiction remains a favourite genre for Patrick, and he is particularly proud of publishing If I Tell You … I'll Have to Kill You.

2003: KERRY GREENWOODKerry Greenwood, a solicitor from Melbourne, is the author of more than fifty novels, six non-fiction works, and the editor of two collections. She writes mysteries, science-fiction, historical fiction and children’s stories as well as plays. Kerry is an advocate in magistrates’ courts for the Legal Aid Commission, is not married, has no children and lives with a registered Wizard. Kerry is best known for the enormously popular Phryne Fisher society sleuth series set in 1920s Victoria. The series was adapted for the small screen as Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, screened on ABC1. Read more about Kerry and Phryne on her website at

2004: BOB BOTTOMBob Bottom OAM is a hugely influential investigative journalist who has published numerous books about organised crime in Australia, most recently Fighting Organised Crime, Triumph and Betrayal in a Lifelong Campaign (2009). For his work in detailing organised crime in Australia he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal. Bottom is the sole author of nine titles, starting with Behind the Barrier in 1969 and co-editor and co-author of three, including the Big Shots series. Although he is now retired, Bob still writes occasional pieces for the national media.

2005: STUART COUPEMulti-talented Stuart Coupe is a writer and journalist who, for a time, managed musical acts such as Paul Kelly and the Hoodoo Gurus and in the nineties published the hard-boiled magazine Mean Streets 1990–1995. Stuart also edited Hardboiled: Tough, Explicit and Uncompromising Crime Fiction (1993), Crosstown Traffic (1993), crime stories designed to blur the genre, and Case Reopened (1994), where real Australian murders or mysteries were investigated by crime writers who were charged with solving them. His most recent book is The Promoters: Inside Stories of the Australian Rock Industry (2003).

2006: ANDREW RULE and JOHN SILVESTERBetween them, journalists, social commentators and authors Andrew Rule and John Silvester created a publishing juggernaut as the creative force behind more than thirty true crime titles, including the highly popular fifteen books in the Underbelly series, and Rule’s editorship of the Chopper series. Both are recipients of multiple awards, including a Walkley and a Best True Crime Ned Kelly, and since 2008 their books have been adapted for the enormously successful television series Underbelly.

2007: SANDRA HARVEY and LINDSAY SIMPSONJournalists and authors Sandra Harvey and Lindsay Simpson published their first co-authored true crime book in 1989, Brothers in Arms, recently made into a miniseries screened on channel ten as Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms. They then published My Husband My Killer: The Murder of Megan Kalajzich (1992) and The Killer Next Door (1994), the latter made into a movie staring Colin Friels in 2000. When Sandra died in 2008 at the age of 49, the Ned Kelly Awards instituted a new short fiction award category in her name as a tribute to her ‘integrity and sense of fairness’ while a journalist, author, producer and researcher for the ABC’s Four Corners program.

2008: MARELE DAYMarele Day is the author of four literary novels and four classics of Australian crime fiction, the much loved novels of the Claudia Valentine mystery series: The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender (1988), The Case of the Chinese Boxes (1990), The Last Tango of Delores Delgado (1993) and The Disappearances of Madelana Grimaldi (1995). In 1996 Marele won a Ned Kelly award for How to Write Crime. Her international bestseller The Lambs of God was published in 1998, followed by Mrs Cook, a novelised biography published in 2003, and The Sea Bed, published in 2009.

2009: SHANE MALONEYShane Maloney is the creator of the ever-popular Murray Whelan novels Stiff (1994). The Brush-Off (1996), Nice Try (1998), The Big Ask (2000), Something Fishy (2002) and Sucked In (2007). One reviewer described this series as 'Just the right mix of politics, crime and slime'. His books have appeared in French, German, Finnish, Japanese and American editions. Stiff and The Brush-Off were adapted for the small screen and starred David Wenham and Sam Neil. Check out Shane’s website at

2010: PETER DOYLEAcademic and writer Peter Doyle, is also a musician, feature writer and visual artist. He published the crime trilogy featuring Billy Glasheen starting with Get Rich Quick in 1996, which won the Best First Fiction Ned Kelly, Amaze Your Friends in 1998, which won Best Fiction in the same awards, and The Devil's Jump in 2001. His part-time curatorship of Sydney's Justice and Police Museum resulted in the publication of City of Shadows: Sydney Police Photographs, 1912–1948 in 2005, followed in 2009 by Sydney: Crooks Like Us, photographs of Sydney’s early twentieth-century criminal population, accompanied by what novelist Fiona McGregor calls examples of Doyle’s finest writing.

2012: GABRIELLE LORDGabrielle Lord’s has been described in the Good Reading magazine as the First Lady of Australian Crime. Her bestselling psychological thrillers have been translated into many languages, starting with Fortress in 1980 and ranging over more than 20 fiction and non-fiction titles. Her novel Death Delights, the first in the Jack McCain series, was the winner of the 2002 Best Fiction Ned Kelly, and the following year Baby Did a Bad Thing, second in the Gemma Lincoln series, won a Davitt Award. Go to Gabrielle’s website at for more.




The skulduggery continues at The Australian Crime Writers Association (ACWA)