HNSA 2022 Online Program


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Following in the Footsteps: Finding Inspiration from Past Authors

23 October 2021 | 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Current historical novelists stand on the shoulders of the talented past story-tellers. Thuy On asks Anna Ciddor, Paula Morris, and Suzanne Leal which authors have inspired them, why the writing is exceptional, what they’d like to emulate, and how the books informed their own novels.

The Panellists

Thuy On (Chair)

Thuy On is Reviews Editor of ArtsHub and a freelance arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She’s the outgoing books editor of The Big issue. Her first book, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was published by University of Western Australia Press. For further information:

Anna Ciddor

Anna Ciddor is the author and illustrator of seven historical novels including Runestone, The Family with Two Front Doors and 52 Mondays. Her most recent, The Boy Who Stepped Through Time, was longlisted for the 2021 ARA Historical Novel Prize CYA Category. Anna has also written about 50 non-fiction historical books. Anna’s meticulous work has been recognised by a grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council, three of her novels have been selected as Notable Books by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, and several have been translated into other languages to be enjoyed around the world. For further information, visit:

Suzanne Leal

Suzanne Leal is the author of novels The Teacher’s Secret, Border Street and, most recently, The Deceptions , which was shortlisted for the Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award and won the Nib People’s Choice Prize. A regular presenter at literary events and co-presenter of the BAD All About Crime podcast, Suzanne is the host of Thursday Book Club, a relaxed, friendly book club connecting readers online. For further information:

Paula Morris

Paula Morris (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whatua) is the author of the story collection Forbidden Cities (2008); the long-form essay On Coming Home (2015); and eight novels, including Rangatira (2011), winner of best work of fiction at both the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards and Ngā Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards. Her most recent book is False River (2017), a collection of stories and essays around the subject of secret histories. She teaches creative writing at the University of Auckland, sits on the Māori Literature Trust, Mātātuhi Foundation, and New Zealand Book Awards Trust, and is the founder of the Academy of New Zealand Literature. Appointed an MZNM in the 2019 New Year Honours, she currently holds the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship. For further information:




23 October 2021
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
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