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ARA Historical Novel Prize 2021 winners announced

13/02/2021 8:07 AM
ARA Historical Novel Prize 2021 winners announced

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

The Burning Island by Jock Serong and We Are Wolves by Katrina Nannestad have been awarded the ARA Historical Novel Prize in the Adult Category and Children and Young Adult Category (CYA) respectively.

The HNSA Chair and Program Director, Elisabeth Storrs said, ‘Selected from over 130 entries, the 2021 ARA Historical Novel Prize winners 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.’

In its second year, the ARA Historical Novel Prize is worth a total of $100 000 in prize monies. The Adult Category winner is awarded a prize of $50 000, with an additional $5 000 awarded to each of the remaining shortlisted authors. The CYA winner will receive $30 000, and the remaining two shortlisted authors will receive $5 000 each.

The 2021 judging panel for the Adult category included Nicole Alexander (Chair), Carmel Bird and Roanna Gonsalves. The Chair of the judging panel, Nicole Alexander praised Serong’s book: ‘The Burning Island is an extraordinarily written story of adventure, mystery and revenge, with a brilliant denouement. The judge’s decision was unanimous. Congratulations Jock Serong.’

The 2021 judging panel for the CYA category include the Chair, Paul McDonald, Thuy On and Catherine Mayo. ‘This year I was privileged to join fellow Judges Thuy On and Catherine Mayo to act as a judge of the 2021 ARA Historical Novel Prize. As judges, we were impressed by both the quality and certainly the diversity of entries for this year’s inaugural Children’s and Young Adult Novel Award Category. Selecting the winner was a source of much discussion, which is a direct consequence of the high quality of the entries. In these challenging times of COVID, we relished the opportunity to escape the present and engage in many adventures set across time and place,’ McDonald said.

For more information about the Historical Novel Prize see here.


Check out the full details of the winners below:



The Burning Island, Jock Serong (Text Publishing)



We are Wolves, Katrina Nannestad (HarperCollins Australia)