Today’s the day! New editions of the Lymond Chronicles and King Hereafter will start becoming available in the UK and Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The US and Canada are subject to a different contract, and negotiations are ongoing. However, it looks as if the new paperback of King Hereafter will be available in Canada from 24 October. You will hopefully see some publicity over the next few weeks, but this is a re-issue so it is not a big bang publication – more a slow burn over a year or so. So our job is to sing Dorothy’s praises and to make people, including bookshops, aware of just how good her books are!

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2017 HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition: shortlist and winner

The Historical Writers’ Association and the Dorothy Dunnett Society are pleased to announce the winner and two highly commended entries to the inaugural HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition 2017. We look forward to reading the winning story in December’s Whispering Gallery!

Winning Entry

A Poppy Against the Sky – Annie Whitehead

Highly Commended

End of the Rope – Majella Cullinane
Us girls – Sarah Evans


Guilty until Proven Innocent – Daphne Breen
Haint Blue – Helen Cairns
The Moresco – Bella D’Arcy Reed
Blind, blind – Allan Drew
Signor Pietro’s Pigeon – Elizabeth Hopkinson
White Feather Girl – Avril Joy
The Damson Orchard – Liz Kershaw
Steer the Dark Skies Blue – Niamh MacCabe
Finish the Course – Anna Mazzola
All I Have Done Is Survive – Richard Smyth

Imogen Robertson, chair of the Judging panel, said:

“I was astonished and delighted by the range and quality of the stories we received. It was extremely difficult to pick our winners from such a strong field and I was deeply impressed by the fresh and engaging voices, superb writing and story-telling skills on display. I’m sure Dorothy Dunnett would have enjoyed them thoroughly and I am very pleased to see so many excellent writers at work on historical fiction.”

Pamela Gordon, Judge, said:

“The response to the competition was splendid and the standard of entries very high. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to read the stories and take part in the selection of the worthy winners. The Dorothy Dunnett Society is happy that republication of her historical novels has created the occasion also to celebrate the work of contemporary writers of historical fiction.”

Norah Perkins, Judge, said:

“It has been a great honour to read the stories entered for the inaugural Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Prize – and very hard to whittle them down to a shortlist, though we were unanimous in our choice of winner. It is a vibrant crop of stories, from around the world and from ancient times to recent history, and I’m sure Dorothy would have been delighted to see so many brilliant writers carrying on in her footsteps.”

The winning author and the two highly Commended authors have been invited to receive their awards at the HWA Award Ceremony on the 7th November 2017 in London. Hosted by historian, novelist and broadcaster Kate Williams, this award ceremony will also see the announcement of the winners of the 2017 HWA Endeavour Ink Gold Crown, HWA Non Fiction Crown and the HWA Debut Crown.

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Whispering Gallery 136 – out now!


Whispering Gallery 136 is now dropping through Dorothy Dunnett Society members’ letter boxes. This very special edition marks the UK republication of The Lymond Chronicles and King Hereafter and is packed with articles ranging from “On Teaching Dunnett” to “42 Days of Lymond Hell”. (Let’s hope there’s no connection!)

To receive your copy, find out more about joining the Dorothy Dunnett Society at

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Dorothy Dunnett History Prize 2017

The Dorothy Dunnett History Prize 2017, worth £1000, is offered by the Dorothy Dunnett Society (Scottish Charity SC030649 SCIO) in pursuit of its constitutional aim:

“To advance the education of the public concerning the history, politics, culture and religion of the 11th, 15th and 16th centuries by promoting the study of and research into such subjects particularly as they relate to the works of Dorothy Dunnett and to disseminate to the public the results of such research.”

The Prize is for an essay of up to 5000 words (normally 3000-4000). Entries will be accepted from students registered on a PhD programme at any recognised higher education institution. The competition is open to medievalists, Byzantinists and Ottomanists.

Thematic Guidelines

The novels of Scottish writer Dorothy Dunnett (1923-2001) are supported by extensive geographical and historical research and have wide-ranging settings, including (using present-day names) Scotland, France, England, Belgium, Italy, Cyprus, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Iceland, Algeria, Norway, Gambia and Mali (including Timbuktu). Her work explores many issues of political, military and cultural/social history.

The author set her fictional characters within the actual events and among the real people of the times. Her novels also explore more general themes including: the development of trade; banking; exploration and discovery; the role of women; the rise of industries such as printing and dyeing; diplomacy and spying; social mobility; transport and travel; domestic life; contemporary literature, music, art and artists; the role of religion and religious communities; conflict and war.

Essays may address any aspect of current historical research that meets the Society’s aims and/or falls within the thematic guidelines or other relevant topics and is contained, broadly, within the time periods of the novels.

Style Guidance

We are seeking submissions that will reflect Dorothy Dunnett’s skill in bringing alive the events and people of her chosen periods. While being based on the writer’s PhD work, essays should be written for a well-informed general reader rather than a specialist academic audience. The panel will be looking for involving and readable essays which bring the subject matter to life. The maximum number of words is 5000 but writers should remember that non-academic readers welcome ‘short and pithy’!

To find out more and how to apply, visit the University of Edinburgh School of History, Classics and Archaeology.

The University of Edinburgh home

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Free Whispering Gallery offer!

To celebrate the republication of The Lymond Chronicles, and the 56th anniversary of its original publication, the Dorothy Dunnett Society will send a free copy of Whispering Gallery Issue 136 to the first 56 applicants.

Whispering Gallery 136 will be printed and distributed in September 2017.

How to Apply

To receive your free copy of Whispering Gallery, please email your name and full postal address to Simon Hedges at [email protected]. Ensure that the subject line of the email is DDSFreeWG.

If you are one of the lucky 56 you will be notified by email within a month.


I’m sending you my address details. What will you do with them?

We will use your email address to correspond with you about this offer, and will use your postal address to send you your copy of Whispering Gallery. After the free issues have been sent out, we will email you again, inviting you to join the Dorothy Dunnett Society. We will use your address details for no other purpose.

Do I have to do anything else?

No, though we’d really appreciate if you’d send in a photo of yourself with your free copy of Whispering Gallery to [email protected] when you receive it, for us to publish it in Whispering Gallery. Or else just post the photo on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #DDSFreeWG.

Does this make me a member of the Dorothy Dunnett Society?

No. Though of course, we’d love you to join, by going here: Join the Dorothy Dunnett Society.

Can I apply in writing? Or via Facebook? Or Twitter? Or any other means than by email?

No. You must apply by email.

I’ve only just joined! I wish I’d waited an issue!

If you buy (or have already bought) a new membership of the Society since 17th June 2017 and before this offer expires, your membership will be extended by 1 free issue, so you do not lose out.

Is there any other small print?

Yes. If you were previously a member of the Society, and your membership expired after Whispering Gallery 131 (June 2016), you are not eligible for this offer.

This offer will expire once all 56 issues are allocated, or at the end of August 2017, whichever is earlier.

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