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to support writers of new historical fiction by the HNS International Awards – a series of competitions for previously unpublished short stories and novels.

In addition, the HNS Indie Award, first offered in 2014, recognizes excellence in indie-published historical novels.

2015 Award, for a new novel


The READERS’ REPORTS are taking more time than we intended. If you are urgent for yours, please contact us and we will ‘queue -jump’ your entry (rather unBritish though this is!). If you are happy to be patient – bless you – we will get to them all as soon as we can, and aim for them to be completed by the end of August. The reports are not being sent in any particular order: ie, we are not sending best first, worst last.

16 books have been long listed.

**IMPORTANT**: Please wait until we contact you to send through the full manuscript, otherwise it will not be possible to maintain anonymity.

The long listed titles, in alphabetical order, are:



Call of Koel



House Divided

Inventing Paris

King James Men

Maharajah and Mrs Mason

Murder at Cirey

My Inquisition

Shadow of Nanteos

Swan Song



Yet Wilderness Grew in My Heart


Readers’ reports will be sent out in batches, beginning on 8th July. We hope to have all readers’ reports sent within 2-3 weeks. 

The 2015 Historical Novel Society International Award, with a prize of £2000 (or $3000 US), is for an outstanding unpublished or self-published novel.

Submissions for the 2015 award are now closed, thank you to the many people who submitted entries.

In a change from the 2013 Award (won by Martin Sutton for Lost Paradise) UNFINISHED NOVELS ARE NOW ELIGIBLE for entry, though they must be completed by 1st October 2015 to be considered for the prize. In another change, the Historical Novel Society does not require epublishing rights to the winning novel. Full competition rules are here, please read before entering.

Our judges for 2015 are Katie Bond, Juliet Mushens and Jon Watt.

2016 and 2017 Indie Award

View the competition rules for the HNS Indie Award 2016 and 2017.

2015 Indie Award

The HNS Indie Award 2015 was presented at HNS Denver 2015. See a list of the winners, shortlist, and longlist for 2015.

Our thanks to sponsors Geraldine Clouston of Indie B.R.A.G. and author Orna Ross, and judges Viviane Crystal and Amy Bruno.

2014 Indie Award

The winner of the 2014 HNS Indie Award is:

The Subtlest Soul, by Virginia Cox

The runner-up is A Gift for the Magus, by Linda Proud.  Additional finalists were Jacobites’ Apprentice by David Ebsworth and Samoa by J. Robert Shaffer.  For more details, see our page for the 2014 HNS Indie Award Shortlist, Finalists, and Winners.

Submissions for the Historical Novel Society Indie Award are selected from novels written in the English language and submitted to the Historical Novel Society for Indie Review.

Thank you to our 2014 judges, Orna Ross and Elizabeth Chadwick.

2014 Award, for an outstanding short story

The winner of the 2014 Historical Novel Society International Award is:

The House of Wild Beasts, by Anne Aylor

The two runners-up are:

2nd place: Souvenirs from Kiev, by Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger

3rd place: Cutthroat, by Katrina Carrasco

The long list of 30 stories and short list of 10 are linked here.

Many thanks to judges Ian Skillicorn, Emma Darwin and Stephanie Bowen for choosing our winners!

Martin Sutton, 2013 winner of the inaugural HNS international Award

Martin Sutton, 2013 winner of the inaugural HNS international Award

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.

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.”