Please note that from 2014, THE HWA CROWN FOR DEBUT HISTORICAL FICTION will be seeking a new sponsor

Details of the Prize are in a downloadable pdf file at the foot of the page.








HWA / Goldsboro Crown for Debut Historical Fiction

WINNER 2013: The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman

A new literary award for historical fiction is announced from the Historical Writers’ Association

 A new partnership, brings a new prize:  Worth £2,000, the HWA/ Crown for Debut Historical Fiction will be awarded to the what is, in the judges’ estimation, the best debut historical novel first published in the United Kingdom in the year in question.  

This year's award was presented at the ‘History in the Court’ Festival, held at Goldsboro Books on the 26th September 2013.

The 2013 shortlist was as follows:

After the Lockout, Darren McCann
Park Lane, by Frances Osborne
The Lifeboat, by Charlotte Rogan
The English Monster, by Lloyd Shepherd
The Light Between Oceans, by ML Stedman - WINNER

Please click the link on the right for further information about the books.

The £2,000 HWA/Goldsboro Crown was brought into being by the generosity of the directors of Goldsboro Books Limited, who have a deep passion for bookselling excellence and who are especially supportive of debut authors.

The Historical Writers’ Association exists to promote and sustain historical writing.   Members are committed to the excellence of crime writing, both fiction and non-fiction and this is the first of what will be a suite of prizes to encourage new and established writers whose books cover a period over thirty five years from the date of publication.

Historical novels now regularly lead the bestseller lists and the aim of this prize in particular, is to highlight the wealth of new fiction authors whose novels fit into this genre. The judges on the panel for the new prize will be Maria Rejt, Manda Scott, David Headley, and Ayo Onatade.

Manda Scott, Chair of the Historical Writers’ Association, said: ‘The HWA is delighted to enter into this partnership with Goldsboro books, and particularly pleased that our first prize will be for first-time authors: every new author deserves as much encouragement as they can get and even to be placed on the shortlist should be a significant boost to a new writer’s career.’
David Headley Managing Director of Goldsboro Books Limited, the independent bookseller, said: ‘Historical fiction is one of the most popular literary styles of the 21st century and Goldsboro Books is delighted and honoured to be sponsoring the Historical Writers’ Association prize and in raising the profile of brilliant debut writers of historical fiction’.


The Goldsboro Crown for Historical Debut Fiction will be awarded at History in the Court in September 2012.A shortlist of books will be announced in June 2012 at Kelmarsh Festival of History. This award is for the best historical novel by a first-time fictional author of any nationality first published in the UK in English during the Judging Period. ‘Best historical novel by a first time author’ means that the author must not have had a novel of any sort published before under any name whatsoever. In the case of novels with more than one author, all the authors must meet this requirement.

Authors may have written non-fiction works prior to the publication of the submitted novel.
Further detail and prize rules may be found by emailing

Full rules are available to download in the file at the foot of the page

 For fur