The SD Harvey Award

Welcome to the SD Harvey Short Crime Story Award page.


Sandra (Dawn) Harvey was an outstanding print journalist and television producer, as well as author and co-author of five true crime books.

With long-time collaborator Lindsay Simpson, she won the Australian Crime Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. She was also a friend and colleague of Les Kennedy, after whom the NRMA Kennedy Awards are named.

The SD Harvey Short Crime Story, in Sandra’s honour, recognises excellence in this genre of writing, either fiction or non-fiction and welcomes entries from journalists. The 2022 award will mark the 13th time the award has been offered since her death at 49 in 2008.

Finalists in the 2021 SD Harvey Short Crime Story Award were:

  1. Kathleen Folbigg conviction questioned by Quentin McDermott
  2. Number 27 – stabbing by Harry Colfer
  3. Vanishing act by Kate McClymont

The winner was Harry Colfer, a Brisbane parademic and writer.

Unable to attend the Kennedy Awards gala at Royal Randwick on Thursday November 11, 2021, due to ongoing pandemic restrictions in Queensland, his award was presented and accepted on his behalf by Jennifer Cooke, a friend, colleague and co-author of Sandra Harvey. His winning entry will be available at and

The 2020 winner – presented by Margie McDonald, a close friend and colleague of Sandra’s – was Quentin McDermott, formerly of the ABC, for his true crime story on a complex attempted murder case in South Australia.

In 2019 – the first year the award was hosted by the Kennedy Foundation – the winner was Victorian fiction writer Suzanne Frankham. Her award was presented by Lindsay Simpson, who co-authored three true crime books with Sandra and established the award.

Finalists in the 2022 competition, which includes a cash prize, will be announced at the NRMA Kennedy Awards for Excellence in Journalism, expected to be held at Royal Randwick in August. More details coming closer to the date.

Entries – published or unpublished (in the year to June 30) – can be submitted between May 18 and the close of business on July 1, 2022. PDF versions of printed works can be sent to

A $50 entry fee (+ booking fee) is required to enter short stories of between a minimum of 2000 (1800 words for non-fiction only) and 5000 words to the SD Harvey Award. Word rates are not flexible and anything outside those stated may render an entry ineligible. A brief accompanying statement for non-fiction works is appreciated.

To pay the entry fee, register via the tab below.

Good luck to all entrants, and thanks for supporting the Kennedy Foundation.



  • Entries can be submitted by published and unpublished writers and can be either fiction or non-fiction stories.
  • Multiple entries are accepted.
  • Submissions must be the author’s original work
  • Stories should be strictly between 2000 (1800 in the case of non-fiction) and up to no more than 5000 words in length.
  • The broadest definition of the crime story will be considered eligible, but should include one or more elements that are normally associated with the genre, i.e. suspense, intrigue, mystery, conflict, crime, punishment or investigation.
  • Entries will be judged on story structure; characterisation; ‘ripping yarn’ and dialogue/quotes and plot.
enter the SD Harvey Award BY CLICKING HERE