Welcome to the Historical Novel Society Australasia

The Historical Novel Society Australasia is recognised as the home of the historical fiction genre in Australasia as the third arm of the international Historical Novel Society. The society considers the genre provides entertainment and education to readers while offering a valid perspective beyond the viewpoint of the historian. Both the imagination and dedication of historical novelists create authentic worlds which can enrich a reader’s understanding of real historical personages, eras and events.


After long deliberation, the HNSA Committee has decided to ‘go virtual’ for our HNSA 2021 conference. Join us in an online celebration of one of the world’s most popular genres over two weekends. All sessions and workshops will remain accessible to registrants for three months after the event ends. So no more difficult choices! You can attend everything in your own time – and watch sessions as often as you like. Early bird registrations are now open.

2021 ARA historical novel Prize

The ARA Historical Novel Prize is now the richest genre-based literary award in Australasia, thanks to our Foundation Partner, the ARA Group. The 2021 Prize will now incorporate a category for outstanding Children and Young Adult (CYA) literature, in addition to the Adult category. As such, in just its second year of operation, the ARA Historical Novel Prize is now worth a total of $100,000 in prize monies. The Prize will award $50,000 to the Adult category winner, with an additional $5,000 to be awarded to each of the remaining two shortlisted authors. In the CYA category, the winner will receive $30,000, while the two short listers will receive $5,000 each.


The HNSA promotes the writing, reading and publication of historical fiction, especially in Australia and New Zealand, through its biennial conferences held since 2015. Our events showcase the best literary talent and enable readers, writers and publishing professionals to celebrate the genre. If you missed our 2019 conference, subscribe to our Imagining the Past podcast now. We’re presenting recordings of live sessions from the HNSA 2019 conference program. It will be a treat for those who couldn’t attend our conference at Western Sydney University in October last year. It’s also a chance for HNSA 2019 attendees to catch up on the sessions they missed because they couldn’t be in two rooms at once!

Our next conference will be held from 22 to 24 October 2021.


The inauguration of the ARA Historical Novel Prize is the crown jewel in HNSA’s suite of literary contests.

HNSA also runs the the Elizabeth Jane Corbett Mentorship for Young Adult historical novelists, ARA HNSA Short Story Contest, the TCW HNSA First Pages Pitch Contest, and introduced the Colleen McCullough Residency held on Norfolk Island in 2019. 

Open book on a desk in library's reading room. Stacks of books in the background.



HNSA’s podcast Imagining the Past is back for another series in 2021. In this week’s episode, G.S. Johnston is joined by Pip Williams. Pip chats to Greg about The Dictionary of Lost Words, which was longlisted for the 2020 ARA Historical Novel Prize), her writing process and some of her writing choices. Pip’s first publication was a poem in Dolly magazine

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An Interview with Nadine Davidoff

In the lead up to the HNSA 2021 Virtual Conference, G.S. Johnston recently interviewed Nadine Davidoff who will be facilitating a Manuscript Bootcamp. Nadine Davidoff is a freelance book editor and writing teacher with extensive trade publishing experience. She has worked as a senior editor at Random House and a commissioning editor at Black Inc.

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HNSA’s Imagining the Past Podcast interviews Steven Conte

HNSA’s podcast Imagining the Past is back for another series in 2021. In this week’s episode, G.S. Johnston is joined by Steven Conte. Steven speaks about planning and executing The Tolstoy Estate (which was recently longlisted for the ARA Historical Novel Prize), writing ‘behind the enemy lines’, the risks of shaking up a novel’s structure, the Gurya Ghost and

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Our Foundation Partner

Our Partner

Historical Novel Society

Historical Novel Society