Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 7, 2020

2020 ARA Historical Novel Prize Longlist

There are some really, really good books on the 2020 ARA Historical Novel Prize longlist.

Longlisted entries include:

The Historical Novel Society of Australia has more info at their website.

For further information about each of the authors and their novels, please visit 2020 ARA Historical Novel Prize Longlist.


The announcement of the longlist coincides with ARA Group doubling its funding for the inaugural award, increasing the total prize monies to $60,000. The overall prize winner will now receive $50,000, with an additional $5,000 to be awarded to each of the remaining two shortlisted authors.

The increase in funding places the ARA Historical Novel Prize among the top five richest literary prizes in Australia and New Zealand, and makes it the most significant genre-based literary prize in Australia.


Sponsored by the ARA Group,

The ARA Historical Novel Prize is designed to give historical novelists the opportunity to be recognised in a class of their own — for the first time ever as part of an Australian and New Zealand literary award.


  1. I’ve read three ( ‘Bodies of Men’, ‘Shepherd’ and ‘The Yield’) and now I want to read the other five! How wonderful that the prize monies have been increased.


  2. I thought Shepherd was fairly average TBH.


    • I’ve only ever read Jinks’ The Inquisitor, and that was a long time ago. I can’t really remember what I thought of it…


  3. I really like this new award! Can’t pick a favourite though as I’ve read and enjoyed a few of them.


    • I think it’s a good award. From the outset, the Stella proclaimed that it was going to consider all forms of women’s writing including genre fiction, but it never has.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There is some really good genre fiction out there. It’s a bit snobby to ignore it, really.


        • Hmm…I don’t think it’s snobby to have preferred tastes in reading. It’s a leisure pursuit, and we all like different things, and that’s a good thing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m meaning more from a prize perspective. I think prizes shouldn’t overlook genre fiction.
            Personal preferences are different.


            • Ah, sorry, I misunderstood.
              Yes, I agree. The Stiletto awards for crime fiction have been going for years, so this one is long overdue.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. An interesting prize Lisa. I’ve reviewed Damascus, plus three that you’ve read. I’m Away for three days without my laptop (desperately needed a break from cares and responsibilities) so will check your other posts on my return. But just love this prize.


  5. […] because of the recently announced longlist for the inaugural ARA Historical Novel Prize, which Lisa (ANZLitLovers) posted on recently. Let’s start with the prize’s home, the […]


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