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. Stay tuned for news about the program and early bird registration. 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. We have some ideas up our sleeve to ensure our community of historical fiction fans has fun connecting online from 22 to 24 October 2021.

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.


Coming Soon: HNSA 2021 Program Launch

The COVID storm clouds have once again gathered over Australia but there is a silver lining for historical fiction fans. The HNSA committee are on the verge of opening registration for our Virtual HNSA 2021 Conference to be held on 22-24 October. Geographical boundaries have now been eliminated enabling HNSA to create its most extensive

Read More »

Catching a Judge’s Eye: An Interview with Nicole Alexander, Panel Chair

The judging panels for the two categories of the 2021 ARA Historical Novel Prize consist of eminent authors and publishing professionals. We thought it might be useful for entrants to understand what catches a judge’s eye by interviewing the Panel Chairs. This month, we spoke to Nicole Alexander, Chair of the Adult category. Nicole Alexander’s novels, poetry,

Read More »

Our Foundation Partner

Our Partner

Historical Novel Society


WSU logo
TCW logo
Burnt Pine logo