We’re delighted to announce that the Historical Writers’ Association will once more be offering three Crown Awards for exceptional historical writing. Entries for the HWA Crowns for 2020 are now open.
The prizes are open to books first published in English in the UK between 1 April, 2019 and 31st March, 2020. Translations into English are welcome.
HWA Gold Crown
The Gold Crown is for the best historical novel which was first published in the UK in English between 1 April, 2019 and 31st March, 2020.
The winner in 2019 was Diane Setterfield for Once Upon a River.
HWA Non-fiction Crown
This award is for the best non-fiction history book published in the UK in English.
The 2019 Non-fiction Crown was won by Ben Macintyre for The Spy and the Traitor.
HWA Debut Crown
The Debut Crown goes to the best historical novel by a first-time fiction author of any nationality which was first published in the UK in English.
Laura Shepherd-Robinson won this award in 2019 for Blood & Sugar.
Nominations in all three HWA Crown Awards categories close on 31 April, 2020. Full details and entry forms are on the HWA website.
For these awards, we define ‘historical’ as meaning predominantly set at least 35 years ago for fiction, or dealing with subjects from at least 35 years ago for non-fiction.
We’ll announce the long- and shortlists in summer and early autumn 2020 and the three prizes will be awarded in November.
If you’ve got any questions about the HWA Crowns or want to check on a submission, email Imogen Robertson, the HWA’s chair.
Imogen writes (on 30 March):
2020 Crown Awards update: open for submissions until 30th April
We will be awarding three Crown Awards for exceptional historical writing on 25 November, 2020.
Please note that after all the disruption of the last weeks, we’ve changed our timetable for the 2020 Crowns. Nominations will be open throughout April, with the longlists and shortlists announced in the late summer and early autumn. The Crown Award Ceremony will take place on Wednesday 25th November.
We plan to hold the ceremony in St Ethelburga’s Church in Bishopsgate, but of course this will depend on what is safe and practical at that time. The safety of our members, authors, publishers, agents, judges, bloggers, booksellers and friends remains our top priority, and if that means the Crowns Ceremony becomes an online celebration only, so be it.
Even – and perhaps especially – this year, we still want to play our part in celebrating the brilliant historical writing, fiction and non-fiction, published in the UK, and its ability to engage, illuminate, entertain and inform legions of readers.
We also appreciate that many publishers will wish to provide judges with e-versions of books rather than physical copies. We love having the physical books, but of course we wholeheartedly support all the efforts the industry is making to keep their employees safe and healthy and will happily take ebooks if needs be.
There are still sponsorship opportunities available for these respected awards, but at this time we are happy to take moral support! We’re sorry to say we won’t be making cash awards this year, unless a sponsor steps in to fund them. Should any such person be tempted, please email me, Imogen Robertson.
Read about the the 2019 HWA Crown Awards.