HWA Crown Shortlists 2017

The Historical Writers’ Association announces the shortlists for its 2017 Endeavour Ink Gold, Debut and Non-Fiction Crowns

The Historical Writers’ Association (HWA) are delighted to announce the books that have been shortlisted for their 2017 Gold, Debut and Non-Fiction Crowns.

We’re very proud of these shortlists and the outstanding quality of the books selected. These are all works which inspired the judges with their passion, conviction and superb story-telling. They take us around the world and across time and demonstrate once again the strength of the Historical Writing currently being published in the UK. Many congratulations to all those short-listed.

The HWA Endeavour Ink Gold Crown 2017 Shortlist:

Antonia Senior, Chair for the HWA Endeavour Ink Gold Crown, says “We are delighted with this shortlist. Each of our judges brought a passion for historical fiction in all its forms to the process. Our shortlisted writers, although very different in subject and style, all share a talent for making the past holler to the present. Reading any of these books is to be transported – to unpredictable and sometimes violent worlds that unsettle and challenge our modern sensibilities. There is wild and gripping reading here – true adventures in history.”

Giles Kristian – Wings of the Storm
Ian McGuire –The North Water
Kei Miller – Augustown
Sarah Perry – The Essex Serpent
Rachel Rhys – Dangerous Crossing
William Ryan –The Constant Soldier

Richard Foreman, co-founder of Endeavour Press, says “I’m sure I speak for others when I say that it was a difficult, but nevertheless enjoyable, experience turning the long list into a short list. The books were diverse, but of a high standard across the board.”


The HWA Debut Crown 2017 Shortlist:

Emily Bitto – The Strays
Sarah Day – Mussolini’s Island
Martin Holmén – Clinch
Abir Mukherjee – A Rising Man
James Terry – The Solitary Woman of Shakespeare
Beth Underdown – The Witchfinder’s Sister

Emma Darwin, Chair for the HWA Debut Crown Crown, says The shortlist for the HWA Debut Crown shows just how exciting the new voices are in historical fiction. From judicial murder in the Essex marshes, to Bohemia in 1930s Melbourne, here is a range of passion, historical imagination and sheer storytelling skill which bodes well not just for these hugely talented writers, but the future of the genre as a whole.

The HWA Non-Fiction Crown 2017 Shortlist:

Clare Mulley, Chair for the HWA Non-Fiction Crown, says ‘Each of these six exceptional books engages with the past in a way that resonates powerfully today. Whether they reveal important history that has been overlooked, or use a fresh and distinctive approach to bring new insights to better-known subjects, everyone has been rigorously researched, beautifully written and presents intelligent, original and compelling history.’

Daniel Beer- The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars
David Bellos- The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventures of Les Misérables
Jerry Brotton- This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World
Lara Feigel- The Bitter Taste of Victory: Life, Love and Art in the Ruins of the Reich
Alex von Tunzelmann- Blood and Sand: Suez, Hungary and the Crisis that Shook the World
Frances Wilson -Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas de Quincey

The winners will be presented with their awards at an event in London on the 7th November 2017 hosted by Historian, novelist and broadcaster Kate Williams.