Conference Program Friday 8th – Sunday 10th September
Our opening reception will be held on Friday 8th September where attendees will celebrate Kate Forsyth’s Beauty in Thorns with plenty of prizes. There will also be a lively round table in which Arnold Zable, Gary Crew, Hanifa Deen and Ngahuia te Awekotuku will discuss our theme, in particular, the role of the historical novelist in exploring first encounters in Australia and New Zealand’s colonial pasts, the migrant experience underlying those nations’ multicultural identities, and whether an author’s origins are relevant to the story telling.
The conference program on September will consist of three streams. The first will continue to explore the conference theme and include interviews with a number of talented authors. The second stream will deal with research and writing craft; the third will consist of an academic programme.
Our guest author is Kerry Greenwood, author of the Phryne Fisher Mysteries, who will provide insights into her novels, her writing processes, the TV adaptation of her series, and other aspects of her stellar career.
Other panels exploring our theme in our first stream include 'First Encounters and Our Colonial Past' with Lucy Treloar, Deborah Challinor, Nicole Alexander and Andrew Peters, followed by 'Immigrant Stories and Diaspora: How Pioneers Adapt and Survive in their New Land' with Kim Kelly, Arnold Zable, Maxine Alterio and Vicky Adin. And Natasha Lester, Robyn Cadwallader, Elisabeth Storrs and Kathryn Gauci will explore 'Venturing Forth: Exploring Historical Fiction beyond National Boundaries and Australian History.'
First Pages Pitch Contest
Our Saturday programme will end with our very popular First Pages Pitch Contest where an actor will read aloud chosen submissions from aspiring authors to industry experts who will provide a critique. The session will also provide other attendees with a chance to learn what attracts the attention of agents and publishers when seeking new historical fiction. Entrants will remain anonymous other than the winner. Our judges are Alison Green (Pantera Press), Sophie Masson (Eagle Books), Mandy Brett (Text Publishing). Rachel Le Rossignol will act as narrator. You can enter the Pitch Contest here.
Personal HistoriesThe first stream on Sunday sees two Personal Histories sessions where Kate Forsyth explains why she delved into adult historical fiction after writing acclaimed fantasy novels for children and young adults while Deborah Challinor reveals where she obtained the inspiration for her three historical series, numerous standalone novels, and non-fiction books?
In 'The Long Haul: Writing Successful Series and Multiple Books', Juliet Marillier, Libby Hathorn and Anne Gracie will reveal how they maintain momentum. And what keeps the spark of inspiration from being doused.
A much anticipated panel will be exploring the appeal of historical mysteries in which Sulari Gentill, Robert Gott, Meg Keneally and Gary Corby will ponder why readers are attracted to the addition of history to murder and mayhem, and the challenges novelists encounter when creating detectives who lack modern crime kits.
Our final sessions for Sunday will include 'Pathways to Publication', Lindy Cameron talks to agent Clare Forster and publishers Alison Green and Mandy Brett on the expectations of agents and publishers when looking for the next big thing in historical fiction.
And you will not want to miss out on our concluding panel where Kate Forsyth, Luke Devenish and Anna Campbell will read some of their saucier excerpts as well as provide tips on writing 'Outside the Comfort Zone: Writing Sex and Violence.'
There are ten skills-based super sessions running concurrently with the main conference program on Historical Mysteries, Historical Romance, Children and Young Adult Fiction, Pitching to Publishers, Social Media, Scrivener, Self-Publishing, Family History, Trove, and the Business of Writing. Attendees will gain the benefit of tutors such as Sulari Gentill, Anne Gracie, Isolde Martyn, Elisabeth Storrs, Elizabeth Lhuede, GS Johston, Prue Batten, Kathryn Gauci, Kelly Gardiner, Hazel Edwards, Eleanor Limprecht, Rachel Franks and Lisa Chaplin.
Dr Gillian Polack is offering two masterclasses focused on how to weave research into convincing and authentic historical fiction. There also will be interactive sessions on armour with Matt Curran (Leif the Viking) and historical costumes with Rachel Le Rossignol. There is also a chance to have your manuscript assessed by industry experts, Kylie Mason and Irina Dunn. Book your appointment here.
HNSA is conducting a third stream which will give academics the chance to answer a call for papers in two topics: 'Bio-fiction: Can you Defame the Dead?' and 'The Lie of History'. Successful applicants will then present their papers. General admission is free to all attendees to enjoy listening to these fascinating discussions but spaces are limited so please reserve a space. More details about the academic sessions are available here.
Inaugural HNSA Short Story Contest
HNSA is excited to announce the establishment of its inaugural short story contest with a prize of $500! Many thanks to Eagle Books for sponsoring the prize and to Sandra Gulland agreeing to act as judge. The winning entry and two other short listed stories will be published in Backstory ezine. The Australian Sociey of Authors is also offering a free membership to the winner. You can enter the contest via this link.
Last but not least, don't miss our conference dinner where you can enjoy highlights of the day with your fellow attendees while eating a delicious meal and listening to our dinner speaker Robert Gott.
You can buy tickets to our conference and learn more about our speakers via our website www.hnsa.org.au. Book now to take advantage of early bird registration.
Let's Make a Noise about Historical Fiction!