The Historical Writers’ Association are very, very grateful to our judges who give up enormous amounts of time to judge our awards and do so with such passion. The Awards would be impossible to run without their commitment and generosity.
To submit a title for consideration for one of the Crowns, please visit our entry page here.
Ayo Onatade – Chair
Ayo Onatade is a CWA Red Herring Award winning freelance crime fiction critic, reviewer and blogger. She has written a number of articles on different aspects of crime fiction and has also given papers on the subject as well. She has an eclectic taste in crime fiction, which runs the gamut from historical crime ﬁction to hardboiled and short stories. Her research interests include historical fiction especially crime fiction and crime fiction literary criticism. She is a former Chair of the CWA Short Story Dagger and judge of the Ngaio Marsh Award. As well as chairing the Debut Crown panel she is a Judge for the Strand Magazine Critics Award. She can be found blogging at Shotsmag Confidential and tweets @shotsblog.
Susan is the curator and writer of the celebrated book blog, The Book Trail – A Literary Travel Agency, which celebrates the joys of reading and travel and travelling through reading.
Dan is a bookseller for Waterstones, and a book blogger in his spare time. His blog is all about showcasing books he would recommend to everyone. He is a huge Historical Fiction fan and loves immersing himself in a time gone by. You can find his blog on instagram at dantheman1504
Clare Mulley – Chair
Clare Mulley is an award-winning author and broadcaster. Her first book, The Woman Who Saved the Children, won the Daily Mail Biographers’ Club Prize. The Spy Who Loved, about Polish-born Second World War special agent Krystyna Skarbek (Christine Granville), led to Clare being decorated with Poland’s national honour, the Bene Merito. Clare’s third book, The Women Who Flew for Hitler, tells the extraordinary story of Nazi Germany’s only two female test pilots, whose actions put them on opposite sides of history. All have been optioned for film or TV. Clare reviews for the Spectator, is often on the radio, and recent TV includes series for the BBC, Channel 5 and Channel 4, as well as interviews for programmes ranging from Songs of Praise to Newsnight.
Jessie Childs is an award-winning author and broadcaster. Her first book Henry VIII’s Last Victim won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, and her second, God’s Traitors, won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History in 2015. It was also longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and selected as a Book of the Year in the Times, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Observer and BBC History Magazine.
Dan Jones is a bestselling historian, TV presenter and award-winning journalist. His books, which have sold more than a million copies worldwide, include THE PLANTAGENETS, a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, THE TEMPLARS, a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, and THE HOLLOW CROWN, a Sunday Times bestseller (published in the USA as THE WARS OF THE ROSES). He has also written books about the Peasants’ Revolt and Magna Carta, and co-authored the Sunday Times bestseller THE COLOUR OF TIME, with Marina Amaral. His latest book, published in autumn 2019, is CRUSADERS.
Dan’s journalism appears on both sides of the Atlantic. For a decade he was a weekly columnist for the London Evening Standard and he has also contributed to The Times, Sunday Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Smithsonian, CNN, GQ, Spectator, New Statesman, American Interest, BBC History Magazine, History Today, Tatler and Literary Review. He lives in Surrey, UK.
Jagjeet Lally is a Lecturer in the History of Early Modern and Modern India, with wider interests in western Asia and the Middle East since c. 1500. He joined UCL in 2014, having previously been the Moses and Mary Finley Research Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge, and having previously taught at the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London. He is the co-director of the Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World, which is based in UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies.
Jagjeet’s first book, India and the Silk Roads. The History of a Trading World, was published in mid-2020.
Jagjeet’s next book, India in the Early Modern World, is under contract with Routledge. His other major writing project is a history of the Himalayas, toward which he has recently written a number of articles, including one on salt smuggling from British Burma into (Qing/Republican) China. He is also interested in the work of museums and public institutions in narrating South Asian history through their collections, having organised a conference on this theme in 2018 at the British Museum, and subsequently continued working with academics and practitioners within the UK and abroad to critically discuss issues around heritage, empire, and decolonisation.
Luke is an anthropologist, historian, writer and broadcaster who explores and reveals the true histories, mythologies, and cultures of Africa.
Aged sixteen, he visited the National Museum of Ghana, and having seen that most of the exhibits displayed artefacts from the colonial era, he began to look into Ghana’s pre-colonial past and his own family’s history. This sparked his lifelong passion for, and devotion to, the deeper history of African peoples.
He read Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford University, where he took courses on early African empires and assisted, as part of an internship at the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Curator for the Americas Collections. He has since completed placements at the Times and Tatler, worked as a research consultant for Ralph Appelbaum Associates, a leading museum exhibition design firm, written and presented a documentary for Dan Snow’s History Hit entitled Africa: Written Out of History, and appeared on numerous podcasts.
Jean Fullerton (Chair)
Jean was born into a large, East End family and grew up in the overcrowded streets clustered around the Tower of London and she feels that it is that her background that gives her historical East London stories their distinctive authenticity.
She first fell in love with history at school when I read Anya Seton’s book Katherine. Since then she has read everything she can about English history but she is particularly fascinated by the 18th and 19th centuries and her books are set in this period. Her books show her love of the East End and bring that vibrant area of London alive.
Years ago Kate was known for her movie reviews, but these days it’s all about the books, going back to her roots in book reviewing. Kate’s background is in archaeology, publishing and non-fiction reviewing and now her widely read fiction reviews can be found on For Winter Nights.
She has contributed regular features on historical fiction to the Sunday Express and has been a regular judges for the HWA Crown Awards.
Robin Carter is a book lover and reviewer and owner of Parmenion Books which was set up to help people find those hard to fnd books, and also to help people get hold of signed 1st edition copies of the books they love by the great authors out there.
You can read his reviews on Parmenion Books.
Toby Clements worked as a journalist and editor on the literary desk of the Daily Telegraph for ten years before writing four critically-acclaimed novels set in England during the Wars of the Roses, The Kingmaker series, which begins with Winter Pilgrims.
Toby lives in London with his wife and three children.
Nicola Cornick is a writer and historian who was born and brought up in the north of England. Nicola developed a passion for history at an early age and went on to study Medieval History, graduated from London University with an honours degree and worked for many years in academia until she gave it all up to be a full time author. Later she returned to college in Oxford to take a masters degree in History.
Since the publication of her first Regency romance by Harlequin Mills & Boon in 1998, Nicola has become an international and award-winning bestseller. She now writes dual timeframe novels inspired by the history and legends of Wessex and The Vale of the White Horse.
Lizzie Lane is the author of over 50 books, a number of which have been bestsellers. She was born and bred in Bristol where many of her family worked in the cigarette and cigar factories. This has inspired her new saga series for Boldwood The Tobacco Girls, the first part of which was published in January 2021. Her Honey Driver cosy crime series, written as Jean G Goodhind, was a best seller in Germany. She is also a past winner of the BBC New Writers’ Award.
Sarah is a literary agent representing literary, reading group and genre fiction authors for Aevitas Creative Management, a US-UK literary agency. She has twenty years’ experience in the world of publishing, having worked with a host of major brand names in fiction ranging from crime writer Minette Walters to bestselling women’s fiction author Elizabeth Buchan, Roman epic series writer Robert Fabbri and award-winning science fiction writer Chris Beckett.
Natasha is a writer, editor and strategist with more than six years’ experience working across print and digital. She currently works as a strategist at content marketing agency Industry Dive (formerly NewsCred) and copy-edits and proofreads for clients including Penguin Random House, Orion, HarperCollins and Influx Press.
Previously she was Content Editor at The Bookseller, sub-editor at gal-dem magazine and literary journal minor literature[s], and the managing editor of InPrint magazine.
She has worked for clients including American Express, Aegon, Generali, Motability, Cisco and HSBC; written for The Observer and The Bookseller; and interviewed figures such as Nicola Sturgeon, Gary Younge and Irvine Welsh.
She has previously judged the Galley Beggar short story prize, the Impress Prize for New Writers, and was the deputy chair of Debut Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and is an NUJ George Viner Scholar.
Elizabeth was brought up in a Georgian manor house in Co. Durham, studied at the Sorbonne and read English at the University of Sussex. She co-founded the fringe theatre company Incubus with her husband and the touring company TheatreMobile for which she directed and wrote plays.
Elizabeth has had a dozen historical novels published, is a member of the Islington Writers for Children, the Historical Novel Society, for whom I review books, and of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She also holds an MA in Victorian Studies from Birkbeck College.
Frances is an experienced writer and editor and is now the editor of Historia, the online magazine of the Historical Writers’ Association. She is devotee and cheerleader of historical writing both fiction and non-fiction and having illustrated hundreds of articles for Historia has image search skills second to none.