Earlier this month, the prestigious Historical Novel Society awarded its first ever award for self-published novels at its annual conference. Here are brief details of how the award came about, how it operates and who won it, plus some useful links to more detailed posts by ALLi author members who were at the event.
The New York Times bestselling historical and fantasy novelist Helen Hollick had been campaigning for some time to have greater acceptance and recognition of self-published and indie authors of historical novels. As managing editor of the indie review section of the HNS, she knew from the books she receives for review that there are are many historical novels by self-published authors that are of a very high standard. She also works hard to raise standards by providing positive feedback and helpful advice to those who fall short. She was therefore very pleased to receive the support of HNS founder and director Richard Lee to launch a new HNS Indie Award this September, which will now become an annual event.
Any indie author may submit their historical novel to the HNS free of charge, to be considered for review. The panel of reviewers – all carefully chosen volunteers – then select from a list the ones they wish to review. Any books that are singled out by the review teams as especially worthy are given an Editor’s Choice accreditation and are automatically entered onto a long list for the Award. Follow this link for details of how to submit your historical novel for review.
From the long list, the US and UK Editors nominate nine books to go forward as a short list to be independently judged in order to select four finalist choices.
For the inaugural award, the judges were ALLi’s director Orna Ross, bestselling literary novelist, who read the shortlist, and bestselling and award-winning novelist, Elizabeth Chadwick, who judged the four finalists.
- The first prize was £100, this year personally donated by Orna Ross, and a year’s free membership of ALLi.
- The runner-up prize was £50, sponsored by Geri Clouston of Indie B.R.A.G., plus B.R.A.G. Medallion credits for all four finalist books.
For the inaugural award, the four finalists were:
- The Jacobites’ Apprentice by David Ebsworth
- A Gift for the Magus by Linda Proud
- The Subtlest Soul by Virginia Cox
- Samoa by J Robert Shaffer
The winner was Virginia Cox’s The Subtlest Soul and the runner-up was A Gift for the Magus by Linda Proud.
More information about the awards and about the HNS conference at which it was presented can be found on Helen Hollick’s blog here, which also includes the rules for the 2015 awards, and on the blog of alternative history thriller writer Alison Morton here, here and here.
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If you would like comment on this new award, to recommend any other awards open to indie authors, or any related issue, please feel free to leave a comment!
“Report on @histnovsoc’s first award for #indie #authors: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/hns/ with @HelenHollick & @Alison_Morton”