ArtView May 2015 - Page 65

audience that „story‟ in French is histoire, thereby establishing the strong link between historical fiction and history. The social part of the evening was closed by the launch of Felicity Pulman‟s Unholy Murder: The Janna Chronicles 3 by Gillian Polack. the very popular Tudors. Super sessions dealt with the nuts and bolts of writing and the publishing industry, with workshops on historical writing and research, establishing an author platform through social media, and manuscript assessments. On the Saturday evening a dinner was held at the nearby Royal Oak Hotel, a great opportunity for people to interact in a more informal setting. During the evening, Goldie Alexander launched Sherryl Clark‟s Do You Dare – Jimmy’s War. Kate Forsyth delivered another of her imaginative speeches with a rendition of the „Man in the Oak Tree‟, a re-telling of the story of the King Charles II fleeing across England after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Two of the most popular sessions at the conference were “At First Glance”, where the opening sections of works-in-progress were read to the attendees and judged by a panel of publishers and agents. The prize for the best piece was awarded to talented aspiring author Lauren Chater. “In Bed with History”, the last session of the conference, involved a „romp‟ in which a sizzling bedroom scene from Kate Forsyth‟s novel Bitter Greens, was staged by Kate, Jesse Blackadder and Colin Falconer - a very memorable turn. Address by Sophie Masson A round table discussion followed the cocktail party chaired by Kelly Gardiner with Deborah Challinor, Gillian Polack, Jesse Blackadder, and Rachel Le Rossignol. The question, “What can historical novelists and historians learn from each other?” brought out some lively and disparate opinions. On the Saturday morning, the conference opened at the historic Balmain Town Hall. Patron Kate Forsyth delivered a pithy welcome followed by keynote speaker Colin Falconer. Centred on the conference‟s theme, “The Historical Novel in Peace and War”, Colin spoke of the ANZAC tradition as the inspiration not just for Australians in war but Australians in their everyday lives. After taking the audience on a journey into the mind of a young soldier to better understand the ANZAC story from the perspective of an individual, Colin reflected on how (modern heightened fears about terrorism notwithstanding) ordinary Australians will always stand up for someone in the street who is being vilified for cultural differences. The weekend contained eleven sessions over the two days. These included conversations with Peter Corris, Sulari Gentill, Toni Jordan and Posie Graeme-Evans; explorations of history subgenres, and an incredibly dynamic discussion of Planning is already underway for the next biennial Historical Novel Society Australasia conference to be held in 2017 in Melbourne. No dates or venues have yet been fixed but, to stay in touch, either register for the newsletter via the website www.hnsa.org.au or join the ever-growing HNSA Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/hnssydney/