Opening date: 18 March 2019

Closing date for receipt of entries:  Midnight 31 August 2019 AEST

Word count: 3,000 maximum, 1,500 minimum

Theme: Open

Format and Period: Historical short stories set no later than 1965


The competition shall be open to all delegates of the Sydney Historical Novel Society Australasia Conference 2019 (HNSA 2019) excluding the competition judge and readers, sponsors and principal conference organisers.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must not at any time have been published, self-published, broadcast, or published online on any website or forum (save for a closed forum), or have won or been placed in any other competition.

Only entrants who have purchased a weekend conference or day ticket to HNSA 2019 are eligible to enter the competition.

Theme and length

An entry must comprise a complete short story (and not be in the form of a poem or script).

Entrants may write on any theme, although only those stories in which the substantive action takes place no later than 1965 will be considered.

Time-slip, historical thrillers/detective, historical romance, fantasy, alternate and steam-punk historical fiction are admissible.


Email entries to contact@hnsa.org.au by Midnight 31 August 2019 AEST

All entries must be submitted with a cover sheet containing the following:

  • Entrant’s name
  • Title of story
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Receipt numbers for your HNSA 2019 conference and contest entry fee
  • The statement ‘I agree to the conditions of entry set out in The ARA HNSA Short Story Contest Rules.’

Entries not accompanied by a cover sheet with valid conference and contest ticket numbers will not be considered.

Please ensure you provide your short story and cover sheet as a Word 2007 document or later versions (docx file) with the filename being made up of the story title alone.

Please do not put your name on the short story or within the filename.

Each entrant may submit only one story.


The entry fee is $10.

Only entrants who have purchased an HNSA 2019 weekend conference or day ticket are eligible to enter the competition.

All payments must be cleared by August 31st, 2019.

Entry fee is non-refundable.

Entry format

Entries must be in English, typed in a Word 2007 document or later version (.docx file), A4 format, one side only, with pages numbered.

Each entry must be contained within a separate Word document; and

Entries must be double-line spaced and include a word count at the top of the first page.

The title and the entrant’s HNSA 2019 conference ticket number must also appear at the top of each page.

Manuscripts must not contain a name, address or other identifying marks apart from the entrant’s HNSA 2019 conference and contest ticket numbers.

Entries will not be returned, so please keep a copy.

No corrections can be made after receipt.

Receipt of entry

An email confirmation will be sent to the address from which the submission was made. No other correspondence will be entered into.


Worldwide copyright in each entry will remain with the author.


The Judge is Sophie Masson.

The Judge’s decision shall be final and no debate or correspondence will be entered into. The Judge will not comment on individual entries.

Judging will be fair and unbiased and made without reference to the entrant’s identity.

All stories will be read and considered in the first instance by Writing & Society Department of Western Sydney University under the supervision of Associate Professor Sara Knox. They will select a long-list and look for, amongst other things, skill in: deft use of historical research; characterization; concision; readability; voice.

Work must be presented professionally, formatted according to the competition rules and spell-checked.


The winner will be awarded:

The second and third placed entrants will each receive certificates.

We thank ARA for the sponsorship of this award, and the Historical Novel Society for the prize of a membership.

Prize winners and prize giving

The long list will be announced on HNSA News & Updates, HNSA Facebook Page and HNSA Facebook Group  on 30 September 2019.

The short list of three stories will be announced and prizes will be awarded during the prize-giving ceremony at the Conference Dinner. The winner’s name will be published on HNSA News & Updates, HNSA Facebook Page and HNSA Facebook Group.

With the author’s consent, the winning, second place and third place stories will be published on this website after the conference. 

Entry constitutes acceptance of all the rules. Failure to comply with the entry requirements will result in disqualification.

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