I've posted elsewhere about my Aurealis Award weekend experience. It was so exciting to be part of such a big event, after so many years of being sort of around the AA's (including four years as a judge!) but never actually making it to the night itself.
The closeness of my daughter's birthday made it impractical for me to get away on the Australia Day weekend (until this year we always had her party ON Australia Day) but this year I was determined to make it - after missing out on all of the year's conventions, I was hanging out to see everyone!
Then, out of the blue, I got my first actual nomination, which made it even more special. I love that our community does this - that we have a big shiny night of glitz and glamour. It felt like we were celebrating everything and everyone in the Aussie spec fic community, not just the winners. Books, authors, readers, big publishers, small press... and OH, the frocks. We all looked so pretty!
I think I may be addicted to the Aurealis Awards now, and considering the whole "Brisbane in January" thing, that's a bit dangerous... in any case, I'll certainly be trying to get to all future ceremonies, regardless of nominations, and will be fiercely jealous of anyone who attends those that I miss.
It was especially lovely to see all my fellow RORettes taking such an active part in proceedings - Marianne doing a fantastic job to launch Trudi Canavan's new book, Rowena presenting several awards and collecting Richard's AA for Children's Long Fiction, Margo glamming it up in her silver scarf to represent Jonathan Strahan for The Starry Rift... and of course our Trent - I was with the other Shiny editors when he won and we squealed like girls (except Ben of course who squealed like a manly man) and were completely honoured by the nice things he said about the little YA ezine that could. Absolute highlight of my night.