ArtView May 2015 - Page 64

The inaugural conference of the Historical Novel Society Australasia Written by Greg Johnston Over the weekend of 20-22 March, 2015, the Historical Novel Society Australasia held its inaugural conference in Sydney. Years in the making, the conference unfurled seamlessly and to great aplomb, exploring many ideas about historical fiction, and attended by over 160 people. The conference marked the formal establishment of Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA) as the third arm of the international Historical Novel Society which holds conferences in the United Kingdom and the United States. On the Friday evening the weekend kicked off with a cocktail party, fittingly held amongst the records of the past at the State Library of NSW. The event attracted a mix of authors, aspiring writers, readers, publishers, agents, and representatives of the State Library. The conference patron, internationally renowned Kate Forsyth, spoke of a string of significant historical events that occurred on that day, linking the successive events to the conference. Sophie Masson then presented the welcome address, sharing her childhood memories in France of castles and family story-telling, reminding the