If you enjoy history … Many of you know that all of my novels to date have relied heavily on the Alexander Family archives which date back over one hundred and twenty years and cover station life from the 1880s on. As you can imagine with such a rich resource my interest in history was peaked from a young age and although I write fiction, the majority of which is set in the Australian outback, the use of such primary source material is both invaluable and fascinating. I love writing about our beautiful landscape and the characters that roam our country and I’m equally intrigued by those who carved a place for themselves in the bush, like my own family and many others in our district and beyond. Writing about our fascinating bush history albeit in fictional form is something that I love which is why I’m delighted to be speaking at the 2015 Historical Novel Society Australasia Conference. This weekend event is open to the public 20-22nd March. Please read on for more information.

2015 Historical Novel Society Australasia Conference

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. Among these are talented historical novelists such as Kate Forsyth (our patron), Colin Falconer, Felicity Pulman, Toni Jordan, Juliet Marillier, Sulari Gentill, Sophie Masson, and, of course, Nicole Alexander.

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.

For those of you who are keen to catch Nicole at the conference, she will be appearing on our War Torn Worlds: Historical Fiction in Times of Conflict on Saturday 21st March where she will be joined by Sophie Masson, Vashti Farrer, Toni Jordan and Kim Kelly.

There will also be some exciting social events. 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 our after-dinner speaker, Kate Forsyth. Why not book your ticket to sit next to Nicole as a special treat? The HNSA is offering some great deals! The first 40 ticketholders to purchase a Standard Whole Conference Ticket will receive a free copy of either The Lace Balcony by Johanna Nicholls, The King’s Shadow by Barbara Gaskell Denvil, The Island House by Posie Graeme-Evans or My Holocaust Story: Hanna by Goldie Alexander. 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 Chronicles!

So why not register for the HNSA Conference now!

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