New Novel Award 2018

Short List Announcement

There were 182 novel entries this year – our long list of 15 and our short list of 6 can be found here.

Historical Novel Society New Novel Award



  • Your novel can be in any genre of historical fiction. For the purpose of these rules, historical fiction shall mean fiction set in the main at least fifty years ago.
  • To qualify as a novel, your book must total at least 60,000 words. Novels submitted should be no longer than 150,000 words.
  • You may submit up to 5,000 words which must comprise the first words of the novel entered. Any preface, prologue or introduction must be included in your submission up to 5,000 words. Please include a synopsis of up to a maximum of 500 words.
  • Your novel NEED NOT be complete before entering. Shortlisted entrants will however be asked to submit a full manuscript for the final stages of the judging process.
  • The closing date for submissions is 31st December 2017.
  • Submissions may be made online only, via our submission form. All documents must be double spaced in Word with each page numbered in sequential order.
  • Your novel will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name or pseudonym anywhere on any document other than the submission form.
  • No alterations may be made to the beginning of a novel following submission until the shortlist has been chosen. No alterations may be made to a complete novel following submission of the final manuscript.


  • Anyone may enter, regardless of age or nationality and whether or not previously published. Posthumous entries are not acceptable.
  • Novels should be in English and should not have been published or accepted for publication by a commercial publisher anywhere in the World.
  • Novels which are under contract to be published by a commercial publisher either in print or digitally are ineligible.
  • Novels that are self-published in print or digitally are eligible if *first* published after 31st December 2016.
  • Any novel entered must be your own original work and not a translation of another author’s work.
  • This Award shall not be open to anyone involved in its organization or judging or their families.

How to enter

  • Entries can be received online only via the 2018 competition entry page and entrants must follow the instructions on our submissions form carefully. Entry is now closed.
  • The entry fee of $40 ($20 for members of the Historical Novel Society) allows you to enter the beginning of one novel (up to 5,000 words). You may enter as many novels as you like, provided each submission is accompanied by the entry fee.
  • Entry fees must be in US dollars. If you bank in another currency, PayPal will convert your fee automatically into US dollars.
  • If you would like a brief reader’s report on your submission, please add $50 to your entry fee for each entry. (Reader’s reports will not be full critiques and will not advise editorial changes. They will simply indicate where, in the reader’s opinion, the chapters fell short. No correspondence will be entered into by the society about reader’s reports, which are offered anonymously).


  • Extracts and synopses will be assessed in the first instance by a panel of experienced readers and reviewers for the Historical Novel Society. The assessment will be moderated by the Chairman of the Society, Richard Lee.
  • From the initial submissions a long list of 15 will be selected for announcement on 1st April 2018 and the long listed authors will be asked to submit full manuscripts.
  • The long listed novels will be assessed by the HNS reader panel and a shortlist of 5 selected for announcement on 1st July 2018.
  • The winner will be chosen from the shortlist and the result declared by 1st September 2018.
  • Longlisted authors must be prepared to give interviews and/or comment for publicity purposes and to supply author photographs.


  • The prize for the Award will be £2,000.

Application of rules

  • Failure to comply with any of these rules will make entry liable to disqualification. The decision of the Award organizers as to the interpretation and application of these rules shall be final.