Author Spotlight: Paula Morris

By Elizabeth Jane Corbett

On Saturday the 26thof October, after a Welcome to Country and other opening formalities, Dr Paula Morris (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whātua) will address the HNSA 2019 conference theme, History repeats: the power of remembrance in historical fiction. 

Paula Morris

Born in Auckland, to an English mother and a Kiwi father, Paula Morris’s career has spanned the globe. After completing a D. Philosophy at the University of York, she worked in London as a production officer for BBC Radio 3, and in press and promotions for Virgin Records and Polygram, prior to becoming the product manager for the record label ECM, in New York. 

Morris began taking fiction classes in 1997 and two years later began to make a living from her writing, as a copywriter and promotions manager for the New York Timesand writing encyclopedia entries for Contemporary Black Biographies, while also freelancing as a brand consultant. In 2002, Morris began attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received a number of prestigious writing and teaching fellowships, and graduated with an MFA. Since then, she has taught in New Zealand, the USA, and the UK.

Morris’s fiction ranges from essays, to award winning short stories, literary novels for adults and modern paranormal novels for young adults. She has won a number of prestigious literary prizes, her historical novel, Rangatira, winning the Best Work of Fiction at the 2011, New Zealand PostBook Awards. Morris has appeared at literary festivals in China, New Zealand, the UK, the US, Germany and Switzerland, and has received far too many writing residencies to list here. Her most recent book, False River, is a collection of essays and short stories, addressing the subject of secret histories. 

False River

In her keynote address, Morris will consider the role a novelist plays in illuminating the past in ways that resonate in the present and discuss whether historical fiction has a role in engaging readers who might otherwise not see the parallels between past and present.  

Paula Morris will give her keynote address on Saturday 26thof October at 9.45am .

She will also teach a Writing Family History workshop on Friday 25th of October and will participate in the Respectful Research: the challenges of imagining a dead person’s life panel on the Saturday afternoon.

This post was written by Elizabeth Jane Corbett is the Social Media Coordinator for HNSAustralasia. Her debut historical novel, The Tides Between, was named a Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book for older readers. At HNSA 2019, she is looking forward to talking with Sophie Masson,Lauren Chater and Kirsty Murray about Feminine Mystique and revelling in some Regency Madness with Alison Goodman, Anna Campbell and Anne Gracie.

HNSA Sydney 2019 will be held on the weekend of 25-27 October 2019 at Western Sydney University Parramatta.

Once again, historical fiction writers and readers can gather for a three stream program on the weekend of 26-27 October including our extended  Academic stream on Sunday 27 October. This time there’s also a Craft & Publishing program on Friday 25 October with craft workshopsmasterclasses and manuscript assessments with top class tutors. Our Guest of Honour is Jackie French. Keynote speaker Paula Morris will address our theme: History Repeats

Among the 60 acclaimed speakers are patrons Kate Forsyth and Sophie MassonCatherine JinksAli AlizadehMarie Munkara, Lucy TreloarRobert GottPamela HartNicole Alexander, Jane CaroAlison GoodmanKelly GardinerMichelle Aung Thin, Meg Keneally, Majella Cullinane and so many more. 

Our signature First Pages Pitch Contest returns with $200 prize money on offer. They’ll also be a sword fight or two with our Historical Re-enactments & Weapons display!

Enjoy a delicious meal at our  conference dinner on Saturday 26 October where  Anna Campbell will entertain us. You’ll also hear who’s won this year’s ARA HNSA Short Story Contest with a $500 prize.

Visit our website to purchase your early bird tickets now!

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