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.

ARA historical novel Prize

The ARA Historical Novel Prize is the richest genre-based literary award in Australasia, 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. As such, after just three years of operation, the ARA Historical Novel Prize is worth a total of $100,000 in prize monies. The Prize awards $50,000 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 will open for the 2023 ARA Historical Novel Prize on 12 April 2023, and close at 5pm (AEST) on 14 June 2023. For more information about the 2023 Prize, subscribe to our newsletter.


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. The 2021 HNSA Virtual Conference was an online celebration of one of the world’s most popular genres over two weekends.  The theme of our 2021 Conference was ‘Recovery—Restoring, Reconciling and Re-imagine Lost Histories’. Our speakers examined the role and responsibility of historical novelists in recovering lost, overlooked or deliberately erased histories, and whether the genre can play a part in achieving truth in reconciliation.

Our next conference will be held in 2023.


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 a special Summertime Series in 2023. Our next episode features writer and critic, Stephen Romei, in conversation with Steven Carroll and Pip Williams.  The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a woman seeking to define the words of women erased from texts written by men. O peels back the story of a famous female

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IMAGINING THE PAST SUMMERTIME SERIES: in conversation with Jenny Quinlan, kate Forsyth & QUinn

HNSA’s podcast Imagining the Past is back for a special Summertime Series in 2023. Our next episode features HNSNA Chair Jenny Quinlan in conversation with Kate Forsyth and Kate Quinn.  Originally recorded as part of the HNSA 2021 Conference, Quinn and Forsyth discuss what draws them to a particular era of history, the challenges faced in their research, and whether they

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HNSA’s podcast Imagining the Past is back for a special Summertime Series in 2023. Our first episode stars Geraldine Brooks. Originally recorded as part of the HNSA 2021 Conference, HNSA Chair Elisabeth Storrs, chats to Brooks about the conference theme: Recovery: Restoring, Reconciling and Re-imagining Lost Histories. Brooks’ first historical novel, Year of Wonders, proved

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Our Foundation Partner

Our Partner

Historical Novel Society

Historical Novel Society