There will be several Pre-Conference Academy classes on Thursday, June 22, 2017. These sessions will take place before the Historical Novel Society Conference begins and are an additional cost to attend.

Gillian Bagwell

Photo by Lisa Keating

Gillian Bagwell is the author of three acclaimed historical novels: The Darling Strumpet, The September Queen, and Venus in Winter, published by Berkley/Penguin in the US and Avon/HarperCollins in the UK, and is at work on her fourth. She’s been getting laughs and causing blushes at HNS conferences since 2011, most notoriously in readings from The Darling Strumpet with Diana Gabaldon. Gillian coaches authors on giving public readings; teaches classes and workshops on writing historical fiction; and also offers all levels of editing, specializing in historical fiction and romance. Please visit her website, and connect with her on Facebook ( and Twitter, @gillianbagwell.




Selden Edwards

seldenedwardsphotoSelden Edwards grew up on a farm in the Sacramento Valley and spent his 40-year career in private school education, first as an English teacher, then a headmaster, in schools across the country. He has degrees from Princeton, Stanford, and Pacifica Graduate Institute. During his entire teaching career he wrote fiction, both short stories and novels, with great enthusiasm but no publishing success. Then in 2008, by a miracle, the “Vienna 1897 novel” he had been writing and rewriting for 30 years was bought in a big deal and became a best-seller as The Little Book, appearing in nine languages, an “overnight success.” His second novel The Lost Prince, the WWI part of his story, came out in 2012. He is currently at work on his third novel, the WWII part, and final leg, of the trilogy. He lives with his wife in the Santa Barbara area.



Kate Forsyth.KateH_S#70D4Kate ForsythKate Forsyth

kate-forsythcroppedKate Forsyth wrote her first novel aged seven, and has now sold more than a million books internationally. Her novels include The Beast’s Garden, a retelling of “Beauty & the Beast” set in Nazi Germany; The Wild Girl, the story of the forbidden romance behind the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales; and Bitter Greens, a retelling of “Rapunzel” which won the 2015 ALA Award for Best Historical Fiction. Kate’s children’s novels include The Impossible Quest, The Puzzle Ring, and The Gypsy Crown. Named one of Australia’s Favourite 20 Novelists, Kate has a doctorate in fairy tale studies and is an accredited master storyteller.



Gordon Frye

Gordon FryGordon Frye has been involved with historical reenactment and historical firearms from a young age, starting with the Civil War Centennial and learning to shoot black powder firearms in his early teens. His historical interest led to a modest career in films, eventually becoming an assistant Reenactor Coordinator with such films as Rough Riders (1997) The Postman (1998), Ride with the Devil (1999), The Patriot (2000) and The Alamo (2003) to his credit. He is involved in Jousting, Cowboy Action Shooting and Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Mr. Frye has a Masters degree in Western History and teaches History in Bremerton, WA.



Irene Goodman

irene-goodman photoIrene Goodman is a literary agent who has sold over 1500 books and counting. Her clients are regulars on The New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Bookscan bestseller lists. She has written columns and articles for a number of writers’ publications, and is also a frequent speaker at writer’s conferences, including keynoting at the Historical Novelists Society. Originally from the Midwest and still trying to lose the accent, Irene has a B.A. and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She and her husband divide their time between New York and the Berkshires, and have two grown children.



Heather WebbHeather Webb

HeatherWebbSmilingHeather’s historical novels have been translated to three languages and have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, France Magazine, Reuters News, and the Huffington Post, as well as received national starred reviews. Becoming Josephine follows the life of Josephine Bonaparte set during the tumultuous French Revolution, and Rodin’s Lover chronicles the passionate story of Camille Claudel, sculptor and lover to Auguste Rodin. Fall of Poppies, a WWI-based anthology, releases in 2016. Heather is also a freelance editor and contributor to award-winning writing site When not buried in a book, she teaches craft-based courses at a local college.

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