Monday, April 2, 2018

2017 HNSA MELBOURNE CONFERENCE


Join our celebration!

On the weekend of 8th – 10th September 2017, the Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA) is holding its Melbourne conference at Swinburne University, Hawthorn, exploring the theme of Identity: Origins and Diaspora. Our full programme can be found at our website. 


Kate Forsyth

Over 60 fabulous speakers

In a celebration of the historical fiction genre, our three day informative and interactive weekend program will showcase over 60 speakers discussing writing craft, research, inspiration, publishing pathways and personal histories. Among these are acclaimed historical novelists such as Kerry Greenwood, Kate Forsyth, Deborah Challinor, Lucy Treloar, Sophie Masson, Sulari Gentill, Robert Gott, Arnold Zable, Gary Crew, Melissa Ashley, Kate Mildenhall, Juliet Marillier, Pamela Hart, Kelly Gardiner and Libby Hathorn.

History with a twist...

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 discussion led by Nicolas Brasch 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. 


Three concurrent streams

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.


Kerry Greenwood

Exploring our Australasian national identity

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.'

Time travelling, world wars and parallel narratives
Our second stream on Saturday will canvas various aspects of research, sub-genres and the writing craft. Wendy J Dunn, Barbara Gaskell Denvil, Stephanie Smee and Rachel Nightingale will discuss 'How to Transmute Research into Compelling Historical Fiction' while Paddy Richardson, Elise McCune, Justin Sheedy and Julian Leatherdale ponder 'World at War: The Appeal of 20th Century Historical Fiction.' 'The Outlander Effect: Parallel Narratives and Time Travelling' will see Belinda Murrell, Felicity Pulman, Gary Crew and Ella Carey discuss the challenges of weaving tales of two protagonists from different time periods into the plots and themes.

Deborah Challinor

'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 Nightingale will act as narrator. You can enter the Pitch Contest here.

Personal histories 

The 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?

Award winning author, Sophie Masson, who has more than 50 novels published in Australia and internationally, will be asked what drives her passion for writing and love of history, while Lucy Treloar will explain what she thinks attracts readers and critics to her writing after her debut novel was released to a whirlwind of local and international acclaim.
Lucy Treloar

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.

Sulari Gentill

Sub-genres and the writing craft

Our second Sunday stream will continue to highlight issues relating to the writing craft. Alan Tucker, Gabrielle Wang, Wendy Orr and Pamela Rushby will tell us why writing CYA fiction is not an easy option. Isolde Martyn, Lisa Chaplin, Alison Stuart and Anna Campbell will tease out whether there is a difference between historical romance and historical love stories. As a treat, Kate Mildenhall, Melissa Ashley, Greg Pyers and Luke Devenish will discuss the 'Modern Voice in Historical Fiction'. Should an historical novelist cater for the tastes of 21st Century readers by introducing modern expressions and dialogue in their novels? Is it valid to introduce current sensibilities to characters who would otherwise have been constrained by their own societies?
Anne Gracie


Pathways to publication

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.

Writing outside your comfort zone - sex and violence

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.'

Super sessions

There are ten skills-based workshop 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 Johnston, Kelly Gardiner, Hazel Edwards, Eleanor Limprecht, Rachel Franks and Lisa Chaplin. Purchase of a ticket entitles attendees an entry into a $100 Dymocks Gift Card Giveaway.
Kelly Gardiner

Transforming research and the clash of armour

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 Nightingale. There is also a chance to have your manuscript assessed  by industry experts, Alison Arnold and Irina DunnBook your appointment here.

Academic programme

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 Historical Novel Society is also offering a free membership to the winner. You can enter the contest via this link.

Conference dinner

Robert Gott
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!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Interview with Cheryl Hayden

Cheryl Hayden is a researcher and novelist with a passion for 16th Century Cornwall.   Her novel, A Christmas Game, examined the plight of the rebel Cornishmen during and after the 1549 Prayer Book Rebellion. She is currently a PhD candidate at Flinders University, writing a fictional account of the life of Tristram Winslade.  Cheryl was born and raised in Melbourne and now lives in Brisbane where her sub-tropical garden is a major diversion when creative blockages strike.


What is the inspiration for your current book?

My 2012 novel, A Christmas Game, and my current work-in-progress are both inspired by a little-known period of rebellion that occurred in Cornwall during the early modern period, from 1497 to 1648.   Initially, my interest in Cornwall stemmed from my family’s mining heritage there – they were tin miners working in the very dangerous but incredibly spectacular area just north-east of Land’s End – very Poldark!  After researching that history and writing a still unpublished novel, my interest took off towards rebellion.

Is there a particular theme you are exploring in this book?

Issues of identity and homeland seem to be a common thread in my work. I was fascinated from a young age about my ancestors being ‘Cornish’ but didn’t understand what this meant until I undertook an M.A. in Cornish Studies at the University of Exeter. The Cornish are Celtic, and do not consider themselves to be English, and many native Cornish today still regard Cornwall as a separate nation. It has long been a fraught issue and for a novelist there is a great deal of scope for developing great characters and a lot of conflict with which to surround them.  


Which period of history particularly interests you? Why?

The 16th Century is my particular focus. We are all familiar with the Tudor monarchs, but what we often don’t see is the plight of people on the receiving end of their increasingly nationalistic policies.  My characters are fighting against the imposition of religious reform. In A Christmas Game, they are resisting the religious reforms introduced by Edward VI in 1549 and their protest leads to out-and-out war against their own king.

What resources do you use to research your book?

I read as much as possible – serious texts that delve into primary sources. I also use the UK National Archives online data base, as well as the Cornwall Records Office online catalogue. Devon also has online databases. More and more material is being digitized, so as the years roll by, there is more and more available. I also visit the places I write about. I’ve been to Cornwall five times now, and know it well.  On my last visit, I visited the 16th Century home of the Winslade family, who feature in A Christmas Game and in my work-in-progress.  

What is more important to you: historical authenticity or accuracy?

Authenticity is a complex idea – can anything that is a reproduction or a representation ever be authentic?  As for accuracy, if we’re talking about events occurring on specific dates, then it depends on how significant the event or the date is.  My aim is to be totally across my subject matter and the setting and to have a thorough understanding of my characters. I want my readers to feel confident that I am taking them on a credible journey into the past that will withstand historical scrutiny of my key themes and critical events.  

Which character in your current book is your favourite? Why?

In A Christmas Game, I think I probably love Margh Tredannack best. He is a young man, just married, who joins a protest against the introduction of the English Language Prayer Book mainly because he has just completed his military training and thinks it will be a bit of fun to go off with his friends. When the whole thing spirals into war and treason, he must manage his terror and try to keep his men safe. Then, having lost everything, he must pick up the fragments of his life.  Jenna is equally inspiring. She is utterly terrified for most of the novel, and is truly brave and loyal.  

Which authors have influenced you?

Myriad authors including Peter Carey, Umberto Eco, Patrick White, Hilary Mantel, Michelle de Kretser, Richard Flanagan, Alan M. Kent, Daphne du Maurier and A.S. Byatt.  

What advice would you give an aspiring author?

Learn to write. Do courses, join groups and enter competitions. Read great writing, whether it be journalism, short stories, fiction or non-fiction. Be gracious about receiving constructive criticism and use it to hone your skills. Finally, be true to the story that is in your heart and give it your best shot.

Tell us about your next book or work in progress.

My work in progress is part of my PhD in Creative Writing. It returns to 16th Century Cornwall to follow the true life story of Tristram Winslade, who in 1595 wrote to King Philip II of Spain urging another Armada. Tristram’s life is emerging as an expectedly sensational roller-coaster. His father and grandfather appeared as real life characters in A Christmas Game




Margh Tredannack is living in newly wedded bliss on his father’s estate in western Cornwall. Miles away, near the banks of the Tamar, Jenna Rosewarne is promised to a loathsome cousin. In the summer of 1549, their worlds collide as the Cornish rise in protest against Edward VI’s English language prayer book. All of a sudden they are on the road to catastrophe, waging war against their own King. Trust, grief and despair bind them together, but does it count as love? And is it enough to save them?       

You can connect with Cheryl via Facebook or Email her to purchase your copy of A Christmas Game.


Cheryl Hayden is presenting a paper in The Lie of History: How the Mirror of the Present Shapes the Past for its Own Purposes in the HNSA Academic Programme on Sunday 10th September.

There is no question that we are constructions of our own times, and the writing of history is always shaped by those who recount the past for their own purposes. How does the mirror of the present day reflect and dictate the telling of history? Do we filter a version of history that tells more about us than the times of long ago through what we choose to reveal and erase? Dr Wendy J Dunn will discuss these questions with panel members Drs Glenice Whitting, Diane Murray, Gillian Polack, and Cheryl Hayden.

Presentation of all papers will be followed by a discussion between Prof. Josie Arnold and Christopher Raja on the same topic.

Abstract: Knit Two, Drop Four: Finding lost heroes in the holes of history’s knitting by Cheryl Hayden (PhD candidate, Flinders University)

Across the western world globalisation is creating renewed nationalist fervour, and with it, renewed interest in the historiographies from which nations draw their identities. The Tudor dynasty in 16th Century England is today being analysed and glorified throughout popular culture, confirming in the minds of the English and their diaspora, of the ‘rightness’ of the Protestant reformation and the victory of the nation state over the backward, evil threat presented by Catholicism. Is it possible, today, to unpick this entrenched historiography to repatriate the stories of those who suffered for this cause?

Entry to the academic programme is included in the price of a weekend or day ticket but please book your place because seating isrestricted. 

HNSA 2017 Conference

The HNSA 2017 Melbourne Conference is being held on 8-10 September 2017 at Swinburne University. This celebration of the historical fiction genre will showcase over 60 speakers discussing inspiration, writing craft, research, publishing pathways and personal histories in our weekend programme. Among the many acclaimed historical novelists participating are Kerry Greenwood, Kate Forsyth, Deborah Challinor, Libby Hathorn, Lucy Treloar, Sophie Masson, Sulari Gentill, Robert Gott and Arnold Zable. The HNSA’s speakers’ list is available on the HNSA website.

In addition to the two stream weekend programme, there will be ten craft based super sessions and two research masterclasses.You won’t want to miss our interactive sessions on armour and historical costumes either! Purchase a ticket and you will be entered in the draw to win a $100 Dymocks Gift Card.

Our First Pages Pitch Contest offers an opportunity for submissions to be read aloud to a panel of publishers. And we are delighted to announce the introduction of our inaugural HNSA Short Story Contest with a $500 prize!

Let’s make a noise about historical fiction!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Interview with Gabrielle Wang

Gabrielle Wang is an award winning children’s author and illustrator whose books are a blend of Chinese and Western culture with a touch of fantasy.
She has twice won the Aurealis Award for Best Children’s Long Fiction and her novels have been named Notables in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. 
Her first novel, The Garden of Empress Cassia was listed on the USBBY Outstanding International Books Honour List. Gabrielle has published fifteen novels with 
Penguin Books Australia including Little Paradise, an historical fiction YA romance novel based on her parents' relationship during World War 2. 
This book was Highly Commended in the Prime Minister's Literary Awards. She has also written two of the girls - the Poppy books and the Pearlie books - in the highly
popular Our Australian Girl series. Her middle grade novel is The Beast of Hushing Wood was published by Penguin Random House in 2017. 

What is the inspiration for your current book?

I am working on a new chapter for the Pearlie books, which are part of the very popular Our Australian Girl series published by Penguin. The four novels came out in 2014 but a new hard cover bind up featuring all four novels in one, will be released in June 2018. I have been asked by my publisher to write a chapter to include in the new edition. It follows on from the final book so I am now researching World War II Perth. I love historical fiction. It means one can learn so much more about the world.

Is there a particular theme you are exploring in this book?

The theme is war and how it affects families in war torn areas, in particular children.

Which period of history particularly interests you? Why?

The period of history I wrote about in the Pearlie novels was Darwin during World War Two. The reason for this was because there are very few books for children to read about this period in Australian history. World War I, in particular Gallipoli is well covered, however Darwin and the northern towns during World War II is rarely written about. And yet it was a very important time in Australia’s history when the bonds between Australia and the USA were forged. I wanted to show how we had our own refugees who needed to flee their homes. Seen through my young protagonist’s eyes, the tragedy of the bombing of Darwin is made that much more real.

What resources do you use to research your book?

I use the internet for photos and information as well as the library. If I need to, I buy books online. One of the best sources is the Ask a Librarian service available online with major libraries. Then there is nothing better than visiting the place you are writing about. With the Pearlie books I visited Darwin to get the feel of the land. Most of Darwin was destroyed during the bombing and later with Cyclone Tracy but I was able to interview people who lived through that time. I also visited museums and joined a Battlefield Tour to look at important military sites.

What is more important to you: historical authenticity or accuracy?

I try to be both authentic and accurate. For example I’ve been trying to find out as much as I can about Perth in 1943 and in particular Perth Zoo and the Chinese market gardens. I am only writing a 2500 word chapter but in order to be authentic and accurate I need to do my research as thoroughly as I can. Then again, because I am writing historical fiction, characters in the novel are invented.
 

Which character in your current book is your favourite? Why?

My protagonist Pearlie of course, but I also love Tinto, her cheeky pygmy marmoset.


Are you a ‘plotter’ or a ‘pantser’? How long does it generally take you
to write a book?

Writing historical fiction I am definitely a plotter. With the Our Australian Girl series because there had to be an overarching story across all four novels, as well as each book being a novel on its own, so before I started writing the series I needed to plot each one out. With my young adult historical fiction novel, Little Paradise, which is also set during World War II in Melbourne and China, it was important to plot it out as it covers four years in the life of Mirabel, the main character. I also write fiction and when I do, I allow the story to develop organically. I love this freedom and the way things that happen during the day serendipitously feed your story. As for how long it takes to write a novel, usually about two years.


What advice would you give an aspiring author?

I guess it’s the same advice all authors give and that is to edit, edit, edit.
Read your work out aloud. That way you’ll pick up mistakes that you might gloss over when reading silently. Join a writing group where you can share your work. Start off small. My first publication was a short story in a children’s magazine. The more publications you have behind you the better it is when sending your manuscript out to a publisher. It shows that you are serious about your writing and work hard at it.

Tell us about your next book or work in progress.

I’m working on the new chapter for Pearlie, which I mentioned above. I am also writing a new middle grade novel which is a sequel to A Ghost in My Suitcase. It’s called Ting Ting the Ghosthunter and as you can see is all about ghosts. I’m an illustrator as well so I’m having fun designing both book covers. I enjoy writing both historical fiction and fiction. They stretch me in different ways. In order to grow we need to constantly challenge ourselves and not be afraid to take on something that may appear too hard.
   

Meet Pearlie

It's 1941 . . . and the war is changing Pearlie's life every day. Darwin is full of soldiers, there's a spy on the loose, and people are turning against Pearlie's best friend, Naoko, just because she's Japanese. When everything falls apart, will Pearlie be brave enough to stick up for what's right, or will her old fears get the better of her? Meet Pearlie and join her adventure in the first of four exciting stories about a courageous girl in a world at war.

Gabrielle Wang will be appearing in at the 2017 HNSA conference in the following panel: Children and Young Adult Fiction: How difficult can it be? Is writing fiction for children and young adults an easy option?

Connect with Gabrielle via her website, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

HNSA 2017 Conference

The HNSA 2017 Melbourne Conference is being held on 8-10 September 2017 at Swinburne University. This celebration of the historical fiction genre will showcase over 60 speakers discussing inspiration, writing craft, research, publishing pathways and personal histories in our weekend programme

Among the many acclaimed historical novelists participating are Kerry Greenwood, Kate Forsyth, Deborah Challinor, Libby Hathorn, Lucy Treloar, Sophie Masson, Sulari Gentill, Robert Gott and Arnold Zable. The HNSA’s speakers’ list is available on the HNSA website.

In addition to the two stream weekend programme, there will be ten craft based super sessions and two research masterclasses.You won’t want to miss our interactive sessions on armour and historical costumes either! Purchase a ticket and you will be entered in the draw to win a $100 Dymocks Gift Card.


Our free extended academic programme is open for general admission but bookings are essential.

Our First Pages Pitch Contest offers an opportunity for submissions to be read aloud to a panel of publishers. And we are delighted to announce the introduction of our inaugural HNSA Short Story Contest with a $500 prize!




Let’s make a noise about historical fiction!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Imagining the Past Podcast Series: Kelly Gardiner and Catherine Padmore




HNSA is proud to announce the release of the final podcast in our series 'Imagining the Past' before the 2017 HNSA Melbourne Conference. This week our host, Kelly Gardiner, is in the hot seat chatting with colleague, Catherine Padmore, about historical bio-fiction. The podcast is a taste of what you will hear at the 2017 HNSA Conference in Melbourne from 8-10 September at Swinburne University Hawthorn. More information about the programme is available at our website.



Dr Catherine Padmore was awarded her PhD in creative writing in 2002, and she has taught literary studies and creative writing at La Trobe since 2005. Her first novel, Sibyl’s Cave (Allen and Unwin, 2004) was shortlisted for The Australian/Vogel Award and commended in the first book category of The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (south-east Asia and south Pacific region). Catherine has been awarded two retreat fellowships at Varuna, the Writers’ House, and in 2014 she was short-listed for their Publisher Introduction Program. She has novels-in-progress about Amy Dudley and Levina Teerlinc. Her short creative works have been published in Island, The Journal of Australian Writers and Writing, The Big Issue, The Australian, Dotlit, Antithesis and in the anthology Reflecting on Melbourne (Poetica Christi, 2009). Catherine’s scholarly work has been published in Australian Literary Studies, TEXT, JASAL, Life Writing and Lateral, with chapters in Telling Stories: Australian Life and Literature 1935-2012 (MUP, 2013) and Expanding the Canon of Early Modern Women’s Writing (CSP, 2010).

You can purchase Sibyl's Cave via Allen & Unwin.


An evocative novel about memory and discovery anchored to the landscape and colours of Italy, England and Australia. Shortlisted for the Australian/Vogel's Literary Award 2001.

Steeped in the landscape and colours of its locations, Sibyl's Cave follows the orphaned Billie through her childhood in Italy to the United Kingdom during World War II with her adopted family, to art school and then, finally, to her new life as an adult in Australia.

Interrupting the reclusive island life that Billie shares with Troy her housekeeper and Stan her housemate on the Hawkesbury River, Billie's niece Lorelei and her daughter Elissa arrive unannounced from England. As their lives intertwine stories emerge and secrets are revealed.

With an evocative eye for personality and place, Sibyl's Cave alternates between Billie's past, unearthed in her diaries and memories, and her present-day life on the island. It is a rich story about family and the importance of identity.


Kelly Gardiner’s most recent book is 1917 (published early in 2017), a novel for young readers set during the First World War. Her previous books include Goddess, based on the remarkable life of the seventeenth century French swordswoman and opera singer, Julie d’Aubigny. Kelly’s historical novels for young adults include The Sultan’s Eyes and Act of Faith, set during the time of the English Civil Wars and the Inquisition. Both books were shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Her books for younger readers are the ‘Swashbuckler’ adventure trilogy Ocean Without End, The Pirate’s Revenge and The Silver Swan – set in Malta during the Napoleonic invasion, and a picture book, Billabong Bill’s Bushfire Christmas. Kelly has worked on newspapers, magazines and websites, and her articles, poems, book reviews and travel writing have appeared in journals, magazines and newspapers as diverse as ‘The New York Times’, ‘Marie Claire’, ‘New Idea’, and ‘Going Down Swinging’. She works at the State Library of Victoria and teaches creative writing at La Trobe University. Kelly is also the co-host of Unladylike, a podcast on women and writing. And, of course, is the host of HNSA's Imagining the Past podcast series. 

You can connect with Kelly via Twitter and Facebook. Links to purchase her books are available at her website.


The war in France rages in the skies, and support for the war in Australia turns cold. Alex flies high above the trenches of the Western Front, while a world away his sister Maggie finds herself in the midst of political upheaval. Somehow, both must find the courage to fight on.
1917 is the fourth in Scholastic’s ‘Australia’s Great War’ series, commemorating the centenary of the First World War. It is written for readers nine and up.

HNSA 2017 Conference

Kelly Gardiner and Catherine Padmore will be appearing in our academic programme: 'Bio-Fiction: Can you Defame the Dead?' at HNSA 2017 on Saturday 9 September with Kate Forsyth, Ariella van Luyn and Gabrielle Ryan. The session is included in the price of a full weekend or day ticket but seating is limited so please reserve your seat. Our second academic panel is 'The Lie of History: How the Mirror of the Present shapes the Past for its own Purposes' on Sunday 10 September with Wendy J Dunn, Diane Murray, Glenice Whitting, Cheryl Hayden and Gillian Polack followed by a discussion between Prof Josie Arnold and Christopher Raja.

Kelly is also conducting a workshop on Scrivener for Beginners. Cost is $20 once a full weekend or day ticket is purchased. Purchase of a workshop ticket entitles the attendee entry into a draw to win a $100 Dymocks Gift Card. You can find out more about our suite of workshops at our website. 

The HNSA 2017 Melbourne Conference is being held on 8-10 September 2017 at Swinburne University. This celebration of the historical fiction genre will showcase over 60 speakers discussing inspiration, writing craft, research, publishing pathways and personal histories in our weekend programme. Among the many acclaimed historical novelists participating are Kerry Greenwood, Kate Forsyth, Deborah Challinor, Libby Hathorn, Lucy Treloar, Sophie Masson, Sulari Gentill, Robert Gott and Arnold Zable. The HNSA’s speakers’ list is available on the HNSA website.

In addition to the two stream weekend programme, there will be ten craft based super sessions and two research masterclasses.You won’t want to miss our interactive sessions on armour and historical costumes either! Purchase a ticket and you will be entered in the draw to win a $100 Dymocks Gift Card.


Our First Pages Pitch Contest offers an opportunity for submissions to be read aloud to a panel of publishers. And we are delighted to announce the introduction of our inaugural HNSA Short Story Contest with a $500 prize!




Let’s make a noise about historical fiction!