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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.

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. We are delighted that the lovely Kate Forsyth has agreed to be our patron! She joins other internationally acclaimed historical novelists such as Colin Falconer, Felicity Pulman, Toni Jordan, Juliet Marillier, Sophie Masson and Jesse Blackadder – and many, many more.

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.

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 focused 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.

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.

For those of you who are keen to catch Kate at the conference, she will be opening the conference on Saturday 21st March and also inspiring us with her personal history as our after-dinner speaker at the conference dinner that night. On Sunday 22nd she will be appearing on two panels. The first is entitled Historical Fiction Sub-genres: Intrigue, Mystery, Fantasies and Time-slip where Kate will be joined by Posie Graeme-Evans, Sulari Gentill, Belinda Murrell and Felicity Pulman. To round off the entire conference Kate will be sharing her racier scenes with Jesse Blackadder and Colin Falconer in our panel entitled In Bed with History: Sexy, Saucy and Sizzling Bedroom Scenes – A Romp!

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.

The first 50 fully paid ticketholders to the conference dinner will receive a free copy of Sherryl Clark’s, Do You Dare – Jimmy’s War.

And all ticketholders to the opening night reception will receive a free e-book bundle of Felicity Pulman’s Janna Mysteries!

So why not register for the HNSA Conference now! You can buy tickets here!

More information about the conference program and speakers can be found at