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ARA Historical Novel Prize 2021 shortlists announced

ARA Historical Novel Prize 2021 shortlists announced

The Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA) and the ARA Group have announced the 2021 shortlists for the ARA Historical Novel Prize.

The ARA Historical Novel Prize recognises and celebrates the best Australian and New Zealand writers across two categories within the genre of historical fiction.

With a total prize fund of $100, 000, the prize is the richest genre-based literary prize in Australia.

The 2021 shortlists were selected from over 130 entries and explore a variety of themes, ranging from displacement, loss, love and war.

Chair and Program Director of the Historical Novel Society Australasia, Elisabeth Storrs, said the shortlists “demonstrate the power of the historical fiction genre to explore what lies hidden and unspoken in society today, illuminated by the sometimes shadowy, yet revealing, paths to our past.”

The winners will be announced at the HNSA virtual conference on 22 October. For more information visit their website here.

Check out the 2021 shortlists below:


Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray River of Dreams, Anita Heiss (Simon and Schuster)

Our Shadows, Gail Jones (Text Publishing)

The Burning Island, Jock Serong (Text Publishing)


The Grandest Bookshop in the World, Amelia Mellor (Affirm Press)

We are Wolves, Katrina Nannestad (HarperCollins Australia)

The Mummy Smugglers of Crumblin Castle, Pamela Rushby (Walker Books Australia)