2022 ARA Historical novel prize longlists announced

Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA), in partnership with Australia’s leading essential building and infrastructure services provider ARA Group, is excited to announce the Longlists for the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize.

This year’s Longlists explore a diverse range of powerful themes, from reinvention and the meaning of truth, through to mischievous, fast-paced fables and the recasting of literary classics. The Longlists demonstrate the power of historical fiction to bring the past vividly to life, explore often unspoken truths, and illuminate the challenges faced by humankind throughout the centuries.

The Longlist for the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize – Adult Category is:

Click here for further information about the longlisted Adult books and their authors.

The Longlist for the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize – Children and Young Adult (CYA) Category is:

Click here for further information about the longlisted CYA books and their authors.

The 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize Shortlist will be announced on Wednesday 28 September 2022. Winners will be announced on 20 October 2022.

About the ARA Historical Novel Prize

The ARA Historical Novel Prize is 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 Children and Young Adult (CYA) category, the winner will receive $30,000, while the two shortlisted authors will receive $5,000 each.

Chair and Program Director of the Historical Novel Society Australasia, Elisabeth Storrs, said, “Selected from over 130 entries, the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize Longlist demonstrates the true depth of talent of historical fiction authors.”

“From tales set in Chaucer’s 1300s England and Holland’s Golden Age in the C17th, through to C19th Australia and America, and secret Nazi headquarters in an East Prussian forest in World War II, our 2022 Longlists explore a breadth of realms in historical fiction.”

“Tackling racism, classism and gender expectations, this year’s longlisted novels feature strong leading characters, a true depth of research, and bold prose. The ARA Historical Novel Prize is a true celebration of the genre, and a real opportunity to foster the genre on a grander scale,” said Storrs.

The ARA Historical Novel Prize has been made possible through the generous patronage of ARA Group. The ARA Group, and its Founder, Executive Chair and CEO Edward Federman, are committed to supporting the arts and literature.

ARA Group Founder, Executive Chair and CEO — and patron of the arts — Edward Federman said, “I congratulate all the talented authors longlisted for the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize. It is a pleasure to be involved in making a long-lasting contribution to the arts, particularly to the historical fiction genre that has not always received the attention it rightly deserves.”

“Our hope is that the ARA Historical Novel Prize will not only make a considerable difference to the lives of this year’s winning authors, but also shine a light on the historical fiction genre and the work of all entrants across Australia and New Zealand.” 

The Judging Panels

The 2022 judging panel for the Adult category included Angelo Loukakis (Chair), Madison Shakespeare and Meg Keneally.

Due to actual or perceived conflicts of interest in relation to some authors entered into the Prize, Meg Keneally recused herself from critical decision-making relating to determination of the longlist. This is in accordance with the HNSA’s Conflicts of Interest policy.

According to Angelo Loukakis, “The novels selected for this year’s ARA Historical Novel Prize Adult Category Longlist draw on a wide range of eras, epochs and places in human history. Towards telling their story, each author on the list has focused on aspects of past experience in their own imaginative way, delivering a well-written and satisfyingly readable narrative. In the context of societal forces and historical events as they weigh upon individual lives, the judges were particularly impressed by the sensitive attention given to the emotions and relationships portrayed in these novels.”

“Diverse in their styles of telling and ranging widely in subjects and locations – from medieval England and one of its most revered tales, to a story originating in 17th Century Amsterdam but with a modern aftermath, to an exploration that brings together 19th and 21st Century America through the life of a great horse, to the battlefields of the World Wars and the home fronts and personal traumas of those wars, to a 1930s Norwegian archipelago and a pioneering woman’s efforts towards self- determination, and to much more – the Longlist presents a most eclectic and creative body of work,” said Loukakis.

The 2022 judging panel for the CYA category included Paul McDonald (Chair), Deborah Abela and Rachael King.

According to Paul McDonald, “The Judges of the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize were impressed by the incredible diversity of entries for this year’s Children and Young Adult Category. The Long-listed titles invite the young reader to experience moving and inspiring stories set against the backdrop of the Second World War in Australia and Europe, pirate ships in the 18th century, the streets of 1920s Shanghai and the streets of Melbourne in the 1850s. We are asked to witness the turbulent times of the French Revolution and travel through New Zealand’s distant past. Entries ultimately demonstrated great writing, extensive research and offered great appeal for young readers, enabling readers to experience a broad range of landscapes and varied lives.”

Click here for further information on the judging panels.



ARA Group provides a comprehensive range of building services and products to major customers throughout Australia and New Zealand and – through its workplace giving program, The ARA Endowment Fund – plays a proud and positive role in the community.

The ARA Endowment Fund currently donates 100 per cent of the interest earned annually to The Go Foundation, The Indigenous Literacy Foundation and The David Lynch Foundation.

ARA Group has also sponsored the Historical Novel Society Australasia’s biennial conferences since 2017, is Principal Partner of Sydney Writers Festival, the Monkey Baa Theatre, the National Institute of Dramatic Art, and Presidential Partner of Taronga Zoo.

Latest news & interviews


Join the HNSA Community

Our foundation partner

Our Sponsors

HNSA Newsletter Updates

Subscribe to our newsletter for interviews, reviews, news and more!