At our 2017 conference, a few people asked about the idea of setting up local chapters of the Historical Novel Society of Australasia (HNSA), like those that exist in the UK and US.
Since then, the Melbourne group, which had been meeting regularly, has formalised into a chapter of HNSA and organises a range of events, including monthly lunches, readings and author panels.
So if you’re interested in doing something similar – or something completely different, but with similar aims – you might like to think about forming a chapter. Chapters can be geographical and local, like Melbourne’s, if you’ll meet in person; or they might be formed around sub-genres or historical periods, especially if the chapter will mostly or partly happen online. The ideas are up to you.
If you’d like to start a chapter, first find a few people who are interested in joining in (you can put a call-out in our Facebook group). Then have a chat about what you want to do and how.
For it to be an official Chapter, we do have a few guidelines to make sure we’re all clear, and information the committee will need.
So reach out to like-minded folks, make a few preliminary plans, and then get in touch with us with some basic information, so we can start talking. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts on the following questions so we can talk more about your plans and ideas.
Here’s what we need to know:
What is the aim of your chapter? (For example, to bring together local writers, to connect readers and writers, to promote historical fiction)
What activities or networks do you have in mind? (For example, you might want to hold social events, present author talks or readings, act as a writers’ support group or workshop, start a specific Facebook group/sub-group, or meet as a book club)
Are you based in a specific geographical area? (For example, we currently have a Melbourne chapter, but it might be much more localised)
Who will be responsible for organising the group? What will their role/s be? How do we get in touch with them/you?
Why do you think that being affiliated with the HNSA is a good idea?