From 20-22 March, the Historical Novel Society Australasia is holding its inaugural conference in Sydney. The theme is The Historical Novel in Peace and War. Open to all, the conference will be a celebration of historical fiction in a weekend of talks, panels, debates, book launches and readings.
Conference Patron, Kate Forsyth, says: “The conference’s theme of peace and war fits perfectly with celebrating the centenary year of Gallipoli. I’m looking forward to participating in a forum which will explore historical fiction’s contribution to understanding the past while giving inspiration and pleasure to the reader."
Of course, when it comes to peace and war, 2015 has significance in Asia, too, particularly for South Korea and China, but also for other Asian countries, since it marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Korean Peninsula from Japanese colonial rule.
Conference sessions will showcase 40 speakers discussing craft, research, inspiration, publishing, social media and personal histories. A pitch session will allow successful applicants to have their submissions read aloud to industry experts. Sub-genres, such as historical crime fiction, will be explored.
Authors attending include Felicity Pulman, Colin Falconer and Juliet Marillier. Felicity Pulman, says: “This conference will be a fantastic, ground-breaking opportunity to introduce readers of all ages and from all parts of Australasia to this incredibly important genre, and give them the opportunity to meet some of the authors who contribute to their reading pleasure.”
Overseas visitors are welcome, especially from Asia, a region which inspires so much historical fiction, including one of 2014's best-received titles, The Narrow Road To The Deep North, by Richard Flanagan, which is populated by characters connected with Burma's infamous World War 2 death railway.
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