Saudi Historical Fiction Awards

The Historical Novel Society (HNS) and The King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives (DARAH) are proud to announce the inaugural Saudi Historical Fiction Awards.

£30,000 in prizes are to be offered annually to writers of English language historical fiction with Saudi settings.

The Saudi Historical Short Story Award has a first prize of £10,000 and 5 runners up prizes of £1,000.

The Saudi Historical Novel Award has a first prize of £10,000, a runner up prize of £3,000 and a 3rd prize of £2,000.

A partnership between HNS and DARAH serves one of the founding principles of HNS, to promote historical fiction in all its forms, and one of the founding principles of DARAH, to serve the history and heritage of Saudi Arabia by helping research, access to scholarship and publication.

HNS and DARAH agree that the judging the AWARDS will be without prejudice to any concern except the merit of the writing as fiction, irrespective of whether or not the writing is politically supportive of or antagonistic to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 

Saudi Historical Fiction Awards: Competition Rules

Submission deadlines

 

  • Saudi Historical Short Story Award: 30th October 2021
  • Saudi Historical Novel Award: 1st July 2022

 

Definitions and limitations

 

The AWARDS are open worldwide for entries, and there are no eligibility criteria except that manuscripts must be in the English language.

The definition of historical novel for the purposes of the SHSSA and SHNA will be the HNS definition:

To be deemed historical (in our sense), a novel must have been written at least fifty years after the events described. If the setting is dual (or multiple) time, the majority of the narrative (more than 50%) must be set fifty or more years in the past. Historical fiction includes all types of genre fiction including crime, mystery, romance, biographical, horror, literary, military and adventure fiction, and all other genres.

We also consider the following styles of novel to be historical fiction for our purposes:

alternate histories, such as Robert Harris’ Fatherland; pseudo-histories, in the style of Umberto Eco’s Island of the Day Before; time-slip novels, such as Barbara Erskine’s Lady of Hay; historical fantasies, such as Bernard Cornwell’s King Arthur trilogy; multiple-time novels, for example Michael Cunningham’s The Hours.

The definition of Saudi for the purposes of the short story competition and novel competition will be this: any setting in the Arabian Peninsula in the Saudi period – between the dates 1700 and 1975. Narratives may include non-Saudi settings, for example stories about Hajj, stories of spying or diplomacy, or stories of exile.

 

Rules specific to the Saudi Historical Short Story Award

 

The author of the winning short story will be awarded a £10,000 prize. 5 runners up will be awarded £1,000 prizes. The organizers reserve the right to withdraw and not award any or all prizes if no suitable submission is made.

Entries must be no longer than 5,000 words.

Multiple entries by individual authors are permissible up to a maximum of 3.

All entries must be the original and unpublished work of the author.

No entries will be accepted after the deadline; no corrections to manuscripts will be accepted after submission.

Entry will be free for members of the HNS; otherwise there will be an entry fee of £10 per entry.

All 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.

DARAH will own first publication rights in English and Arabic for the winning short story and the 5 runners up. In addition DARAH may offer to publish other short stories submitted for the competition by separate negotiation.

The winners will be announced on 1st December 2021.

 

Rules specific to applications for the Saudi Historical Novel Award

 

The author of the winning novel will be awarded a £10,000 prize. 2 runners up will be awarded £3,000 prizes and £2,000 respectively. The organizers reserve the right to withdraw and not award any or all prizes if no suitable submission is made.

To qualify for the prize, your novel must total at least 60,000 words and should be no longer than 150,000 words.

All entries must be the original and unpublished work of the author.

No entries will be accepted after the deadline; no corrections to manuscripts will be accepted after submission.

All 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.

The prize and runners up prizes will be offered for unpublished manuscripts, and publication rights for translation into Arabic will be owned by DARAH. DARAH will also own first publication rights in English for all short stories. Publication rights for novels (except for Arabic translation rights) will remain with the author for a period of one year with the hope and intention that rights to the novel may be sold to a reputable English language publisher. After one year (or earlier if the author chooses) publishing rights in English will revert to DARAH with the intention that DARAH should bring out an English language edition of the novel at DARAH’s expense.

 

Eligibility

 

Anyone may enter, regardless of age or nationality and whether or not previously published. Posthumous entries are not acceptable.

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 form on this page.

 

Judging

 

All submissions 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 short lists will be drawn up, and the winners announced on 1stDecember 2021 (for the inaugural short story competition) and 1stSeptember 2022 (for the inaugural novel award).

The final judge of the awards will be David Rundell.

Short listed authors must be prepared to give interviews and/or comment for publicity purposes and to supply author photographs.

 

Prizes

 

The prizes and grants will all be paid by DARAH directly to the award winners.

 

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.