HWA Crowns 2017

The HWA are delighted to announce the winners of their 2017 Crowns.


Kate Williams, historian, novelist, and broadcaster, was the host for the evening which was held at the Crypt on the Green, Clerkenwell, London.


Over 100 publishers, agents, authors and fans were in attendance to see the winners take home the coveted prize.


The HWA Debut Crown was won by Beth Underdown for The Witchfinder’s Sister published by Viking Books.


The judging panel, chaired by author Emma Darwin commented:


“In The Witchfinder’s Sister, Beth Underdown has imagined her way into a society’s collective madness, and recreated it in a terrifying and utterly convincing story.”


Next was the announcement for the HWA Non Fiction Crown which was won by Jerry Brotton for This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World published by Allen Lane Books.


The judging panel was chaired by author Clare Mulley who said:


“Jerry Brotton’s exceptional book, This Orient Isle, is the winner of the Historical Writers Association Non-Fiction Crown 2017. In revealing the extent and nature of Elizabethan England’s relationship with the Islamic world, This Orient Isle restores a forgotten narrative to our history in a way that resonates powerfully today. This is original, intelligent and compelling history with huge impact.”


Finally the winner of the 2017 HWA Endeavour Ink Gold Crown was announced as

Ian McGuire for the North Water published by Simon and Schuster.


The judges, chaired by Toni Senior, said:


“The North Water is a tale of murder and despair on board a nineteenth century whaling ship, and it reeks of blubber and blood. As a feat of historical imagination it is extraordinary; as a novel it is stunning. Like the Arctic waters it describes, this book is violent and unsettling, yet unforgettably beautiful.”


Annie Whitehead was also congratulated for winning the HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story competition – sponsored by the Dorothy Dunnett Society – for her unpublished short story A Poppy Against the Sky. The two  Highly commended authors were Majella Cullinane for End of the Rope and Sarah Evans for Us girls.


Imogen Robertson, Chair of the HWA, said


“We are delighted with the success of this year’s awards celebrating the range and quality of historical writing in the UK including both established stars and up and coming authors. It’s been wonderful to discover these fantastic books and spread the word among fans of historical writing about the many and varied writers producing such excellent work. Many thanks to our sponsors and congratulations to the winners.”