The HNS seeks to support writers of new historical fiction by the HNS International Awards – a series of competitions for previously unpublished short stories and novels.
2013 Award, for an unpublished novel
The inaugural 2013 Historical Novel Society International Award, with a prize of £5,000, was for an unpublished novel. It was open to both published and unpublished writers, but was won by British debutant Martin Sutton for his novel Lost Paradise. Martin was promptly signed up by Carole Blake of Blake Friedmann.
Richard Lee of the Historical Novel Society described Sutton as “a genuine bona fide discovery”, calling Lost Paradise “a lyrical war story, a yearning, poignant love story, a book with the biggest themes that grips and pulls but can also make you smile.”
Lost Paradise tells of William Pascoe, a young gardener on the Heligan estate in Cornwall, who is wrenched away from a blossoming but difficult romance to fight at the front on the Somme.
Lee’s enthusiasm was echoed by W H Smith Travel fiction buyer Matthew Bates, who called Lost Paradise a “haunting, generational novel of war, love, secrets and lies…with the scope of, say, a Kate Morton.”
2014 Award, for an outstanding short story
The 2014 Historical Novel Society International Award, with a prize of $2,000, will be for an outstanding historical short story. There will be an entry fee of $15 per story ($5 for members of the Historical Novel Society), and entries must be between 1,000 and 5,000 words. Submissions will be accepted from 1st December 2013, with a deadline for submissions of 1st April 2014.
2015 Award, for an unpublished novel
The 2015 Historical Novel Society International Award, with a prize of £3,000, will again be for an outstanding unpublished novel. Submissions will be accepted from 1st September 2014, with a deadline for submissions of 1st April 2015.