Regency Madness versus The Nuances of Point of View, which one will I choose?

When it comes to writing, I pretty much let my fingers do the typing. When it comes to selecting my preferred streams at the HNSA conference, it turns out that two choices is one too many. Deciding between HNSA panels is about as easy as guddling a fish. A side-note here : I do love words and guddling, not to be confused with cuddling, is today’s bon mot.

So what do we have on the historical platter for our delectation on Sunday you may ask? Dare to take a dekko? 

My eye is immediately caught by the midday offering:

Stream A: George and Georgette: Regency Madness and Inspiration.

I don’t know about any of you, but for me, my whopping great salmon has already landed. Picture me happy splashy dancing, fish in arms. 

Anne Gracie, Alison Goodman, Elizabeth Jane Corbett and Anna Campbell

My longstanding love affair with historical novels began in my early teenage years with the inimitable Georgette Heyer. Regency historicals push every nostalgic button beneath my frail solar plexus. What’s more, on even closer inspection, this panel is looking finer than Beau Brummel’s best cravat: Alison Goodman, Anne Gracie and Anna Campbell in conversation with Elizabeth Jane Corbett

Well sit me down and serve it up!

Of course, a common mistake in any dining scenario is to look at what anyone else is eating. But, of course, being human, I cannot resist taking a sneaky peek. This is a big mistake, akin to dropping the precious guddled salmon.

Stream B: I am camera: exploring the nuance of point of view

And there you have it. A very different kettle of fish but nevertheless waggling its slippery fins and shimmering scales at me. The lure: Greg Johnston exploring ‘the slings and arrows’ of point of view with Robyn Cadwallader, Julian Leatherdale and Belinda Castles. I have wasted hours, nay days, by my troth more than a year, chasing down point-of-view, writing and rewriting an entire manuscript, namely because I failed to grasp early on the ramifications my point of view decision would have. 

Robyn Cadwallader, Julian Leatherdale, Belinda Castles, Greg Johnston

Point of View is my writerly bugbear, my bogeyman, my gargoyle. 

Point of View induces rabbit-like paralysis.

Perhaps, I pray, this panel can provide the cure. 

As well as the far-reaching consequences of POV choices, these historical authors will also explore questions such as: ‘Who knows what? Who sees what? And How much do you want the reader to know?’ 

Yes! Yes! Yes! Point of fact, I need an extra large helping of that!

But … but … Beau, Beau, Brummel! 

I don’t know about camera; I am confounded.

Imagine if you will, a girl in galoshes, stranded mid-stream, no guddled fish. 

Stream A or Stream B, that is the question.

The answer eludes me.

‘And thus the native hue of resolution, Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.’

This panel spotlight was written by Lou Greene, winner of the HNSA First Pages Pitch in 2017. Since then she has continued to work on her debut manuscript, The Book Lovers, which was also long-listed in the Richell Awards. Lou is a recent recipient of an ASA Mentorship Award. Find out more about Lou’s writing at

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 workshops, masterclasses 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 Masson, Catherine Jinks, Ali Alizadeh, Lucy Treloar, Pamela Hart, Nicole Alexander, Jane Caro, Alison Goodman, Kelly Gardiner, Michelle Aung Thin, Meg Keneally, Majella Cullinane and so many more.

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, and the HNSA Colleen McCullough Residency.

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