On the weekend of 20-22 March 2015, the Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA) is holding its inaugural conference at the historic Balmain Town Hall, Sydney, exploring the theme of ‘The Historical Novel in Peace and War’. The conference will be a celebration of the historical fiction genre in a weekend of talks, panels, debates, book launches and readings.

Balmain Town Hall

Balmain Town Hall

The opening night reception will be held at the prestigious State Library of NSW on Friday 20 March where a lively round table debate will be conducted on the topic: ‘What can historical novelists and historians learn from each other?’ The two-day informative and interactive weekend program on 21-22 March will showcase 40 speakers discussing craft, research, inspiration, publishing, social media and personal histories. Among these are internationally acclaimed historical novelists such as Kate Forsyth (HNSA patron), Colin Falconer, Felicity Pulman, Toni Jordan, Juliet Marillier, Sulari Gentill, Sophie Masson and Jesse Blackadder.

Kate Forsyth - HNSA patron

Kate Forsyth – HNSA patron

The Day One sessions conclude with a ‘First Pages’ competition where aspiring historical novelists will have their submissions read aloud to industry experts. The session will also provide other attendees with a chance to learn what attracts agents and publishers when seeking new historical fiction. And you won’t want to miss out on our ‘In Bed with History’ panel on Day Two where Kate Forsyth, Colin Falconer and Jesse Blackadder will read some of their saucier excerpts.

There are three skills-based super sessions that are being run concurrently with the main conference program. Manuscript assessments will be conducted by industry expert, Irina Dunn. Dr Gillian Polack is offering two small group workshops focussed on how to weave research into compelling and authentic historical fiction. The third session will focus on how to use social media to build an author platform with author Elisabeth Storrs and review blogger Margaret Bates. In addition to the super sessions, the HNSA is pleased to be partnering with Swinburne University of Technology to provide the opportunity to submit an academic paper to a special edition of The Australian Journal of Crime Fiction on the theme ‘Phryne Fisher and Other Fantasies: The Female Detective in History’.

Dr Gillian Polack

Dr Gillian Polack

There will also be some exciting social events. The conference will be launched at the Friday opening night reception where attendees will also celebrate the launch of Felicity Pulman’s Unholy Alliance. At the conference dinner on Saturday, attendees will have opportunities to mingle with leading authors and join us for the launch of Sherryl Clark’s, Do You Dare – Jimmy’s War, and listen to the after-dinner speaker, Kate Forsyth. Why not book your ticket to sit next to one of our authors Nicole Alexander, Jesse Blackadder, Craig Cliff, Colin Falconer, Kate Forsyth, Sulari Gentill, Posie Graeme-Evans, Toni Jordan, Juliet Marillier, and Felicity Pulman.

HNSA is offering AWW readers a special conference deal. The price of a Whole Conference ticket (normally priced at $250) will be reduced by 10% to $225. This ticket entitles the holders to attend all the sessions in the main program. The ticket also includes morning and afternoon tea, and a lunch voucher redeemable at a fantastic local café. Apply the coupon code AWWHNSA15 when buying a standard whole conference ticket.

In addition to the 10% discount, the HNSA is offering some great deals. The first 50 fully paid ticket holders to the conference dinner on Saturday 21st March will receive a copy of Sherryl Clark’s new book ‘Do You Dare – Jimmy’s War’ in celebration of its launch. All ticketholders to the opening night reception at the State Library of NSW on Friday 20th March will receive a free ebook bundle of the Janna Chronicles by Felicity Pulman in celebration of her launch of Unholy Alliance.

So register for the HNSA Conference now! You can buy tickets here.

More information about the conference program and speakers can be found at www.hnsa.org.au. Help spread the word about the conference. Here’s a tweet you could use: Register for #HNSA2015 Conference for some great #historicalfiction and #giveaways! http://ow.ly/IVL7x

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