HNSA’s podcast Imagining the Past is back for another series in 2021. In this week’s episode, G.S. Johnston is joined by Julie Janson. Julie discusses her recent novel, Benevolence, the challenges of writing First Nation’s historical fiction, and of First Nation’s writers finding publishers. 

Julie is a Burruberongal woman of Darug nation. She is a novelist, playwright, and poet. Her most recent novel is Benevolence, which was published by Magabala 2020, and will be published by Harper Collins in the USA and UK.

While living in remote Northern Territory Aboriginal communities in her early years as a teacher, Julie began writing Indigenous plays and making giant puppets, masks and costumes. Her career as a playwright includes productions at Belvoir St Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre and Sydney Opera House. She was a co-recipient of the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poetry Prize in 2016, and won the Judith Wright Poetry Prize in 2019.

Julie Janson at HNSA’s 2021 Virtual Conference

Julie Janson will deliver the keynote speech at HNSA’s 2021 Virtual Conference in October. She will address our conference theme—Recovery – Restoring, Reconciling and Re-imagining Lost Histories—by examining the role and responsibility of historical novelists in recovering lost, overlooked or deliberately erased histories, and whether the genre can play a part in achieving truth in reconciliation.

Julie will also join Paula Morris and Cassandra Pybus in conversation. History is written by the victors. When such accounts are challenged who then gets to define history in the context of a shared past? How do we view the historical record, particularly oral histories, in terms of retrieving voices which have been silenced or simply not recorded?

With the HNSA 2021 Virtual Conference being hosted virtually for the very first time, HNSA has created its most extensive conference program to date. Join us over two weekends between 16 to 24 October to celebrate historical fiction with panels, interviews, workshops, bootcamps and so much more. Recorded sessions will remain accessible to registrants for three months after the event. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with conference news and announcements about the 2021 ARA Historical Novel Prize.

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