Who needs words when there are pictures?

The Historical Novel Society Conference 2012 was BRILLIANT, and in my blog for this week, I’m going to take you through some of the highlights of the conference, which was held at The University of Westminster from 28th to 30th September.

Friday evening began with a Wine and Canapés Reception. There was a finger buffet, and there were soldiers ….

At the Friday evening reception

Saturday began with a welcome by Richard Lee, founder of the HNS, followed by the first of four Main Panel Sessions. This one asked What Sells HF? It was chaired by Diana Gabaldon.

L to R: Jade Chandler, Susan Watt, Simon Taylor, Diana Gabaldon, David Headley, Matt Bates

The opening address was then given by Philippa Gregory.

Philippa Gregory

Throughout the morning, there were book signing sessions, pitches with agents and editors, and workshops. A delicious lunch was followed by the Presentation of the HNS Short Story Award. The winner was Jasmine Svenne. The next Main Panel Session was The Lying Art, chaired by Ian Mortimer.

Judges: editor Gillian Green and agent Jonathan Pegg

L to R: Elizabeth Chadwick, Barbara Ewing, Ian Mortimer, Emma Darwin, Harry Sidebottom, Daisy Goodwin












There was more signing of books, and then another Main Panel Session, Brawn v Heart, which was chaired by CW Gortner.


Waitng for the doors to the book signing to open: Christina Courtenay, Jean Fullerton, me

Angus Donald, Karen Harper, CW Gortner, Shana Drehs, Doug Jackson, Gillian Green














The Final Address for the Saturday Day Conference was given by Margaret George.

Margaret George


Saturday night was crowned by a Banquet, complete with minstrels and jesters. Apart from delicious food, there was a Costume Pageant, an after dinner speech given by Bernard Cornwell, and several Sex Scene Readings.


Dessert: chocolate tart with cream

The line-up for the Pageant










Having fun at the banquet

Sue Moorcroft, Myra Kersner, Anne-Marie Ugland











Barbara and Tony Alderton

Henriette Gyland












Gillian Bagwell, Diana Gabaldon, Bernard Cornwell, giving a Sex Scene Reading


Bernard Cornwell










Another Sex Scene reading, this time by Sarah Dunant (sorry about the blurred effect!)


Sunday began with the fourth Main Panel Session, The Many Faces of HF, with Vanora Bennett, Carole Blake, Rory Clements, Sarah Dunant, Heather Lazare, Cathy Rentzenbrink. Unfortunately, my pic was too blurry to use. This was followed by more workshops and pitches to editors and agents. During lunch, there were more book signings. The Concluding Address was then given by Lindsey Davis.


Lindsey Davis

It was a fabulous conference, and everyone left looking forward to the next HNS conference, which will be held in Florida.

Roll on HNSConf13!