The relaunched Winston Graham Historical Fiction Prize has announced its 2024 shortlist with an exciting range of literature.

The award is made in the name of the Poldark author, who hailed from Perranporth. This is the first year entry has been extended beyond Cornwall, with an emphasis on a powerful sense of place.

The six shortlisted works are: Cuddy by Benjamin Myers; The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn; The Midnight News by by Jo Baker; Nothing Left to Fear from Hell by Alan Warner; Music in the Dark by Sally Magnusson; and A Wild and True Relation by Kim Sherwood.

The panel of judges include Louis de Bernieres, master of the contemporary historical novel, award-winning novelist and poet AK Blakemore.

Charlotte Hobson, Truro-based author and 2024 chair of the judging panel, said: “This is the first year we’ve run the Winston Graham Prize as a nationwide prize.

“The hope was that by throwing the net wide, we’d come up with a shortlist to demonstrate the best of historical fiction being published in the UK and Ireland today. That hope has been more than fulfilled.

“The sheer variety and boldness of style are thrilling. Gone are the days when the historical novel was considered a poor cousin to the contemporary novel – these are six of the most original and extraordinary storytellers writing today, and they’ve chosen the historical novel as their form.”

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony at the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, on March 22.