A new $30,000 literary prize for Historical Fiction
With prize money of $30,000, the new ARA Historical Novel Prize gives Australian and New Zealand historical novelists the chance to be recognised in a class of their own, with the most significant prize purse for any genre-based prize in Australasia.
The ARA Historical Novel Prize has been made possible by the generosity of our principal partner, ARA Group, which has ensured the success of our last two biennial conferences with their continuing support.
We’re also delighted to involve regional Australia in our endeavour with the New England Writers’ Centre kindly administering the submission process.
About The Prize
The ARA Historical Novel Prize is open to authors who are citizens or residents of Australia or New Zealand. Books published between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2020 are eligible for entry. Entries may be submitted by authors, publishers or agents. Self-published books are also eligible. Now Australian and New Zealand historical novelists have a chance to be rewarded for excellence in writing, depth of research, and reader appeal.
The nomination form and entry fee link will be available from 1 May 2020.
- Opening date: 1st May 2020 at 9am AEST
- Closing date for entries: 30th June 2020 at 5pm AEST
- Longlist of 6 books announced: Mid September 2020
- Shortlist of 3 books announced: Mid October 2020
- Prize winner announced: 18th November 2020
Definition of Historical Fiction
- A novel written at least 50 years after the events described (in 2020, this means the setting should be before 1970); or
- A novel written by someone who was not alive at the time of those events and who therefore approaches them only by research. (If the entire setting is more recent than 1970, the author’s age will be relevant to determine if the book is deemed to be historical fiction.)
- Historical sub-genres considered to be historical fiction include historical mystery, historical romance, and historical fantasy. Alternate history, pseudo histories, time-slip novels, multiple-time novels, and parallel narrative novels are also considered historical fiction with flexibility to crossover between eras stretching from 50 years or more in the past until contemporary times.
- For the purposes of the Prize, historical novels written for children and young adults are also deemed to be an historical sub-genre.
About ARA GROUP
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.
About Historical Novel Society Australasia
The Historical Novel Society Australasia is the third arm of the international Historical Novel Society, and is recognised as the home of the historical fiction genre in Australasia. The Society 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 of literary talent, and enable readers, writers and publishing professionals to celebrate the genre. Our next conference will be in 2021.
The inauguration of the ARA Historical Novel Prize is the crown jewel in HNSA’s suite of literary contests. HNSA also runs the ARA HNSA Short Story Contest, The TCW First Pages Pitch Contest, and introduced the Colleen McCullough Residency held on Norfolk Island in 2019. In 2020 it plans to announce the Elizabeth Jane Corbett Mentorship for Young Adult historical novelists.