The Judging Panels: 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize

The judging panels for the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize consist of:

  • Adult Novels: Angelo Loukakis (Chair), Madison Shakepeare and Meg Keneally
  • CYA Novels: Paul McDonald (Chair), Deborah Abela and Rachael King

Further information about each of the judges is available below.

Adult category

Angelo Loukakis (Chair)

Angelo Loukakis has been a writer, teacher, scriptwriter, editor and publisher. He is the author of the fiction titles For the Patriarch, Vernacular Dreams, Messenger, The Memory of Tides, and Houdini’s Flight. His non-fiction works include a book for children, The Greeks, and the book of the SBS television series, Who Do You Think You Are? His collection of short stories, For the Patriarch, was winner of a New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award. He was the founding chair of the NSW Writers’ Centre (now Writing NSW), and Executive Director of the Australian Society of Authors (2010–16).

Meg Keneally

Meg Keneally is the author of The Wreck and Fled. With Tom Keneally, she is co-author of the four-book Monsarrat Series of historical murder mysteries. With Leah Kaminsky she co-edited Animals Make Us Human. Her next historical novel, The Last Queen, will be out in 2022. For further information:

Due to actual or perceived conflicts of interest in relation to authors entered in the Prize, Meg Keneally withdrew from critical decision making in determining the longlist, and withdrew from judging the shortlist and winner. This is in accordance with the HNSA’s Conflicts of Interest policy.

Madison Shakespeare

Identifying proudly as an East coast salt-water First Nation person of Australia, Madison is a multi-disciplinary lawyer, filmmaker, artist and scholar who has developed extensive academic and pedagogical experience writing and coordinating all units of the Indigenous Major at Western Sydney University. Whilst still leading the Indigenous Major she is also engaged in decolonising cultural interface research at Flinders University and is privileged to learn from and collaborate with First Nations Peoples of Australia and globally.

CYA Category


Paul Macdonald owns the award-winning The Children’s Bookshop which has been a Sydney literary institution since 1971. Paul has a Master of Education, working almost 20 years as a teacher of Upper Primary and Secondary.

He has won numerous awards in teaching such as a Quality Teacher Award and The Premiers English Scholarship. Paul won the inaugural Maurice Saxby Award in 2012 for his contributions to raising the profile of teen fiction. Paul Macdonald also was the winner of the 2016 Lady Cutler award for services to children’s literature and literacy in Australia.

Paul not only manages The Children’s Bookshop Speakers’ Agency but is also a consultant working with numerous schools focusing on building reading cultures and he is currently completing his PhD focusing on Australian Young Adult literature. Paul is the author of the picture book The Hole Idea and has written several other academic texts. For further information, please visit:

RachAel King

Rachael King is an award-winning author with three novels under her belt: The Sound of Butterflies, set in the Brazilian rubber boom of the early 20th century, which was published internationally and translated into nine languages; Magpie Hall, a gothic novel set in Canterbury; and Red Rocks, a junior novel that won the Esther Glen medal in 2014. Rachael was the programme director of WORD Christchurch for eight years until the end of 2021, and this year is working on two linked books: a novel for children and a work of non-fiction. For further information, please visit: 

Deborah Abela

Deborah trained as a History/English teacher before becoming writer/producer of a national children’s TV show at Network TEN. She has since written 28 internationally published and awarded books, including her climate change trilogy, Grimsdon, New City and Final Storm and Teresa A New Australianinspired by her family’s migration to Australia after the devastation of WW2Her latest MG novel is The Book of Wondrous Possibilities, a magical story about the power of books to save us when we feel lost. For further information, please visit:

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