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.

The $150,000 ARA historical novel Prize

With prize monies worth $150,000, the ARA Historical Novel Prize  is the richest literary award in Australia and New Zealand, thanks to our Foundation Partner, the ARA Group. The Prize incorporates a category for outstanding Children and Young Adult (CYA) literature, in addition to the Adult category.  The Prize awards $100,000 to the Adult category winner, with an additional $5,000 awarded to each of the remaining two shortlisted authors. In the CYA category, the winner receives $30,000, while the two short listers receive $5,000 each. 

Entries for the 2024 ARA Historical Novel Prize are now open.  Subscribe to our newsletter to hear news of the contest


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. 

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

HNSA also runs the HNSA First Pages Pitch Contest, the Colleen McCullough Residency and the Elizabeth Jane Corbett Mentorship for authors of Young Adult historical fiction

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



In the next episode of our 2024 season, Fiona Kelly McGregor discusses with Kelly Gardiner the many intricacies of writing her novel, Iris, shortlisted for the 2023 ARA Historical Novel Prize—Adult Category. The Imagining the Past podcast series features authors appearing at the Historical Novel Society Australasia biennial conferences or have been recognised in our

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The next episode in our 2024 season of Imagining the Past features Robbie Arnott discussing with Greg Johnston the many intricacies of writing the novel Limberlost, based on his family folklore and longlisted for the 2023 ARA Historical Novel Prize—Adult Category. Robbie Arnott’s acclaimed debut, Flames (2018), won a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist

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Giveaway – To Sing of War by Catherine McKinnon

Inspired by McKinnon’s own family history, To Sing of War is a rich, compelling and intricately woven novel of love, war, and friendship, perfect for readers of Anthony Doerr, Richard Flanagan, Shirley Hazzard and Barbara Kingsolver. December 1944: In New Guinea, a young Australian nurse, Lotte Wyld, chances upon her first love, Virgil Nicholson, there

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Our Foundation Partner

Our Partner

Historical Novel Society

Historical Novel Society