The Van Diemen History

Prize 2020

Good writing about history can be engaging, insightful, poignant or intriguing, but the underlying research will always be authentic and rigorous. The biennial Van Diemen History Prize fosters quality writing about Tasmanian history for articles aimed at a general audience.  

Closing Date: September 21, 2020.

Fee: $20 per article


The winning entry will receive a cash prize of $500 and publication in Forty South magazine.
A selection of the best entries will be published in an edited volume, The Van Diemen History Anthology 2021 (publication estimated to be in mid-2021). 

How do I pay?


To enter the competition, click on the ‘SHOP WRITING COMPETITIONS’ icon above.
Once paid, you will receive a unique payment order number via email,  which you can use to complete the electronic form below.


Payment can also be made by cheque/money order made out to Forty South Publishing Pty Ltd and posted to PO Box 168, Lindisfarne, TAS 7015.

Note: If multiple competition entries are purchased in the same transaction, one order number will apply to all entries.

For inquiries regarding electronic submission, email

The Van Diemen History Prize 2020-21


The Van Diemen History Prize

Judges 2020-21

Professor Stefan Petrow

Professor Stefan Petrow teaches Australian, Tasmanian and European history at the University of Tasmania. His research covers all aspects of Tasmanian history from early settlement to the late twentieth century, but focus on urban, planning, legal, social and cultural history. He has also published on British, New South Wales, Victorian and Queensland history. His books include Policing Morals: The Metropolitan Police and the Home Office 1870-1914 (1994), Going to the Mechanics: The Launceston Mechanics’ Institute 1842-1914 (1998) and (with Cary Denholm) Dr. Edward Swarbreck Hall: Colonial Medical Scientist and Moral Activist (2016). He is currently completing a history of Tasmanian soldiers who served in infantry battalions in World War One called Tasmanian Anzacs.

Professor Kristyn Harman 

Kristyn Harman is an Associate Professor in History at the University of Tasmania. Her research interests cohere around socio-cultural frontiers including: transportation to, and within, British colonies; frontier warfare; Indigenous incarceration; and the Australian and New Zealand home fronts during World War Two. She is the author of Cleansing the Colony: Transporting Convicts from New Zealand to Van Diemen’s Land (2017), longlisted for the Royal Society Te Aparangi Award in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, 2018. In 2014, Kristyn won the Australian Historical Association Kay Daniels award for her first book, Aboriginal Convicts: Australian, Khoisan, and Māori Exiles (2012).

Paige Gleeson

Paige Gleeson, a sixth generation Tasmanian and PhD Candidate in History at the University of Tasmania, won the inaugural Van Diemen History Prize in 2018 with her entry, Fantasy of the Past: Women’s History at the Cascade Female Factory. Paige researches the history of imperial visual culture and museums, and writes about contemporary art and Australian culture. Paige’s research interests include feminism and women’s history, Indigenous histories of Australia and the Pacific, art in practice and theory, and memory and memorialisation.  

Chris Champion 

Chris Champion is editor of Forty South magazine and a director of Forty South Publishing with responsibility for all editorial functions. He has worked as an editor in Australia and Asia for more than 40 years. The historians on the judging panel will assess all entries and create a short list based on the merit of their historical investigation and writing quality. Chris will then choose the winner based on writing quality.