Conversation Rooms

Let’s Get Social!

Conversation Rooms in the Histfic Hub


One of the best things about a conference is meeting like-minded people who share your interests, and this year is no different! Check out the themed Conversation Rooms in our Histfic Hub.

A conversation room is a place for attendees to meet face-to-face (or screen-to screen), accessed via the conference’s EventMobi platform and hosted on Zoom. Each room features a different topic and a host to greet participants, get the conversation started, and keep it flowing. Conversations are scheduled in two-hour blocks, and attendees are welcome to pop in and out of conversation rooms as they please. No RSVP required.

For conversations that are heavily attended and/or cover a broad topic, hosts are enabled to create breakout rooms so attendees can have more focused conversations.

We’ve scheduled conversation rooms at different times to allow for participation across time zones and to avoid conflicting with most regular sessions, though out of necessity more conversations are in the evenings, and all times listed are Central Standard Time (San Antonio).

And if you’d like to create your own conversation room for you and your friends, we can make that happen too! Look for the REQUEST A ROOM button in the Histfic Hub.

Conversation rooms are live and will NOT be recorded. Our intention is for these to be welcoming spaces for attendees to gather around their favorite topics. Whether you have a lot to say or you just want to sit back and listen, all are welcome. But we do ask that you be respectful. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated, and hosts are enabled to remove disruptive participants.

Early risers, lunchtime browsers, and night owls are all invited to join the conversation at HNS2021!


Monday, June 21

7:00-9:00am

Morning Meet & Greet: Say hello to fellow attendees, share your interests, and tell us what you’re looking forward to at the conference. Host: Jenny Q

Tudor/Elizabethan Era: Gather in the virtual great hall to talk about one of the world’s most famous dynasties and their impact on historical fiction. Host: Margaret George

Victorian Era: Industrial Revolution, political reform, and social change—the Victorian era is ripe with history. Chat with fellow enthusiasts about this ever-popular time period for all subgenres of historical fiction. Host: Christine Trent

12:00-2:00pm

Non-Western: Fiction based on non-Western history is growing in popularity. Meet up with other writers and readers interested in fiction outside of the Western world and talk about how to bring new cultures to life on the page. Host: Joan Fernandez

Dual Timelines: The dual timeline structure is super popular, but it’s also super challenging! Share and learn with fellow authors embarking on a dual writing journey. Host: Fiona Davis

Mythological: Chat with fellow enthusiasts about why stories based on the mythological histories of many cultures continue to be popular and how writers can find inspiration in them today. Host: Margaret George

6:00-8:00pm

Marketing Happy Hour: Meet your fellow authors and exchange what works for you with what works for them. Leave with new friends, a motivational boost, and some fresh inspiration to promote your work. Hosted by literary publicist Stephanie Barko.

Biographical Fiction: Stories about real people can spark readers to dive deep into historical records to learn the real truth. Share and learn with fellow attendees who are writing novels based on real people of the past. Host: Margaret George

Gilded Age: Chat with fellow attendees about reading and writing stories set during this era of opulent high society, poverty, reform, and industrial growth in the United States. Host: Jennifer Hallock

8:00-10:00pm

American Civil War: The Civil War was fought over complicated issues and sparks deep passions. Join fellow history enthusiasts to talk about this perennial subject for historical fiction. Host: Michael Ross

Crime/Thriller: Long popular in contemporary fiction, thrillers are catching on with historical novelists too. Chat with fellow attendees about incorporating thrills and chills in historical fiction. Host: Laura K. Curtis

Regency Era: Dukes and viscounts abound, but this was also an era of war and political and social upheavals. Chat with other authors about the Bridgerton effect and writing in this popular era. Host: Marty Ambrose

20th Century Post-World Wars: History didn’t end with World War II.  The postwar era brought us the Korean Conflict, the Cold War, the space race, the fight for civil rights, the sexual revolution, and so much more.  Come connect with fellow authors writing about the events and people of 1948-1968. Host: Barbara Wallace


Tuesday, June 22

7:00-9:00am

Morning Meet & Greet: Say hello to fellow attendees, share your interests, and tell us what you’re looking forward to at the conference. Host: Rose Lortz Spears

Eastern European: While Western Europe gets most of the attention, Eastern Europe features cultures, traditions, and beliefs that are unique in their own right. Let’s meet, mingle, and share. Host: Mary Louise Hill

French Revolution: No heads will roll in this chat, but we will talk about why the French Revolution continues to fascinate historical novelists. Host: Leslie Carroll

12:00-2:00pm

Vikings/Scandinavia: The heady combination of warriors, familial bonds, mythology, and intricate law systems continues to appeal to historical novelists. Let’s discuss the appeal of the Norse in fiction and where writers can turn for inspiration and research. Host: Betsy van der Hoek

Medieval Era: Grab a cup of mulled wine and gab with fellow medieval enthusiasts about the wealth of inspiration and insight to be gleaned from this era. Host: E.L. Diamond

Inspirational: Join fellow attendees to discuss writing an inspirational novel and the nuances of religious elements in mainstream historical fiction. Host: Sarah Loudin Thomas

6:00-8:00pm

17th Century: From the Baroque to the Scientific Revolution to the explosion of world-wide trade, with a little war and civil unrest in between. Mingle with fellow attendees writing novels set in the 17th century. This conversation can utilize breakout rooms to focus on more specific time periods. Host: Cryssa Bazos

18th Century: The 18th century was a time of unrest in varied parts of the world. Chat with fellow attendees about local and global events of the time and writing novels set in the 18th century. This conversation can utilize breakout rooms to focus on more specific time periods. Host: Diana Giovinazzo

American West: This time period’s influence continues to be found in many genres, from young adult to science fiction. Join fellow enthusiasts to talk about reading and writing Western and Western-influenced historical fiction. Host: Jude Johnson

8:00-10:00pm

Early America: From the early European settlers to the American Revolution, the founding of America is both inspirational and controversial. Chat with fellow enthusiasts about historical fiction set in this time period. Host: Rex Griffin

19th Century: The events of the 19th century are simultaneously within our reach and just beyond it. Chat with fellow attendees about reading and writing novels set in the 19th century. This conversation can utilize breakout rooms to focus on more specific time periods. Host: Sarah Angleton

20th Century: Writing about the recent past offers its own challenges. Chat about this with fellow attendees writing novels set in the 20th century. This conversation can utilize breakout rooms to focus on more specific time periods. Host: Margaret Evans Porter

Canadian History: Let’s talk about pivotal eras in Canadian history and the stories they inspire. Host: Tanya Williams


Wednesday, June 23

7:00-9:00am

Russian History: Russian history has given us evocative, larger-than-life characters. Chat with other attendees about important eras in Russia’s history and the stories they inspire. Host: Ly Kesse

Romance: Whether you’re writing historical romance or romantic historical fiction or just enjoy a good love story, come chat with us about the language of love. Host: Elizabeth Everett

Italian History: Italian history, like Italy is bold, flavorful, and can teach us a lot about our own nature. Join fellow fans in talking about pivotal moments in Italy’s history and the stories they inspire. Host: Laura Morelli

12:00-2:00pm

English Civil War: Chat with fellow history lovers about Roundheads and Royalists and how this troubled time in England’s history is full of inspiration for novelists. Host: Elizabeth St. John

Renaissance Era: Art, music, history, philosophy, and of course, love! Let’s talk about why this era is so popular with historical fiction fans. Host: Laura Morelli

Mystery: Historical mysteries continue to be popular across all time periods. Whether you’ve been writing them for years, are just starting out, or love reading them, meet your fellow mystery enthusiasts to talk about sleuthing in historical fiction. Host: Karen Odden

6:00-8:00pm

Historical Fashion: Corsets or stays? Breeches or trousers? Researching to get the details right is not only important, it’s fun! If you enjoy fabrics, form, and function, come mingle with other historical fashionistas. Host: Liza Nash Taylor

French History: Vive la France! That’s what we say now, but the intricacies of France’s history are more complex. Join fellow enthusiasts in talking about pivotal moments in France’s history and the stories they inspire. Host: Ann Marti Friedman

Fantasy/Alternate History: Fantasy, what-ifs, and the supernatural have long had a place in histfic. Chat with fellow writers about infusing the historical with these elements. Host: Judith Starkston

8:00-10:00pm

KidLit: If you’re writing for children, middle grade, or young adults, this is the place to be! Host: Genetta Adair

Medieval Era: Grab a cup of mulled wine and gab with fellow medieval enthusiasts about the wealth of inspiration and insight to be gleaned from this era. Host: Rose Lortz Spears

Gothic & Horror: Got a brooding character, a bleak setting, and supernatural elements? How about elements of a horror story? Join other gothic and horror enthusiasts to see how your interests fit into the larger picture. Host: Vanitha Sankaran

Indigenous Peoples: The history of people who lived on land before European settlers arrived needs to be captured, and in an informed way. Talk with fellow attendees about bringing these stories into focus with an emphasis on research and cultural sensitivity. Host: Michael Ross


Thursday, June 24

7:00-9:00am

18th Century: The 18th century was a time of unrest in varied parts of the world. Chat with fellow attendees about local and global events of the time and writing novels set in the 18th century. This conversation can utilize breakout rooms to focus on more specific time periods. Host: Donna Scott

20th Century: Writing about the recent past offers its own challenges. Chat about this with fellow attendees writing novels set in the 20th century. This conversation can utilize breakout rooms to focus on more specific time periods. Host: Maryka Biaggio

Ancient Era: It’s commonly thought there aren’t enough records to write about the ancient era well. Learn about why that’s not true and explore writing stories set in the far-distant past and why they still resonate with us today. Host: Eileen Stephenson

6:00-8:00pm

Asian History: Asia’s a big place full of big stories. Mingle with attendees writing about Asian history, discuss themes and trends, and share tips for resources and inspiration. Host: Steven Leibo

LGBTQIA+: Despite being underrepresented in histfic, the LGBTQIA+ community has been around since ancient times. Chat with fellow attendees about how to include this population when writing historical fiction. Host: Maryka Biaggio

Irish & Scottish History: Whisky or whiskey? Meet fellow fans of Irish and Scottish history and talk about reading and writing stories set in these near-mystical lands. Host: Melissa Bacon

8:00-10:00pm

Independent Publishing: IndiePub has its own benefits and challenges. Join fellow authors to talk about tips and trends and what to know when going indie.

Traditional Publishing: The state of the industry is constantly in flux, and the current times have had an impact. Join traditionally published authors and learn more about what happens after you sell your novel. Host: Dee Andrews

Aspiring Authors: Still working on that first novel? Find inspiration and motivation from your fellow first-timers. Host: Janna G. Noelle

Bloggers & Reviewers: Without readers, there would be no authors! Chat with readers about blogs, blog tours, book reviews, social media, and anything else that catches our fancy! Host: Erin Davies


Friday, June 25

7:00-9:00am

17th Century: From the Baroque to the Scientific Revolution to the explosion of world-wide trade, with a little war and civil unrest in between. Mingle with fellow attendees writing novels set in the 17th century. This conversation can utilize breakout rooms to focus on more specific time periods. Host: Mara Gorman

19th Century: The events of the 19th century are simultaneously within our reach and just beyond it. Chat with fellow attendees about reading and writing novels set in the 19th century. This conversation can utilize breakout rooms to focus on more specific time. Host: M.K. Tod

Biographical Fiction: Share and learn with fellow attendees who are writing novels based on real people of the past. Host: Michael Ross

6:00-8:00pm

Ancient Era: It’s commonly thought there aren’t enough records to write about the ancient era well. Learn about why that’s not true and explore writing stories set in the far-distant past and why they still resonate with us today. Host: Margaret George

Tudor/Elizabethan: Gather round the virtual great hall to talk about one of the world’s most famous dynasties and their impact on historical fiction. Host: Anna Castle

Renaissance Era: Art, music, history, philosophy, and of course, love! Let’s talk about why this era is so popular with historical fiction fans. Host: Keira Morgan

8:00-10:00pm

Dual Timelines: The dual timeline structure is super popular, but it’s also super challenging! Learn and share with fellow authors embarking on a dual writing journey. Host: Addison Armstrong

Mystery: Historical mysteries continue to be popular across all time periods. Whether you’ve been writing them for years, are just starting out, or love reading them, meet your fellow mystery enthusiasts to talk about sleuthing in historical fiction. Host: Christine Trent

Non-Western: Fiction based on non-Western history is growing in popularity. Meet up with other writers and readers interested in fiction outside of the Western world and talk about how to bring new cultures to life on the page. Host: Joan Fernandez

Audiobooks: With the popularity of audiobooks soaring, let’s discuss what we do and don’t love about them and learn about the work that goes into producing them. Host: Lars Hedbor


Saturday, June 26

7:00-9:00am

Independent Publishing: IndiePub has its own benefits and challenges. Join fellow authors to talk about tips and trends and what to know when going indie. Host: Anna Castle

Traditional Publishing: The state of the industry is constantly in flux, and the current times have had an impact. Join traditionally published authors and learn more about what happens after you sell your novel. Host: Addison Armstrong

Aspiring Authors: Still working on that first novel? Find inspiration and motivation from your fellow first-timers. Host: M.K. Tod

6:00-8:00pm

Romance: Whether you’re writing historical romance or romantic historical fiction or just enjoy a good love story, come chat with us about the language of love. Host: Jennifer Hallock

KidLit: If you’re writing for children, middle grade, or young adults, this is the place to be! Host: Genetta Adair

Fights & Battles: Let’s talk about our favorite action scenes and what writers can do to bring these pulse-pounding moments to life. Host: David Blixt

8:00-10:00pm

Multicultural/Own Voices/BIPOC: Historical fiction has been behind other genres in the search for diverse voices that need to be heard. Let’s unpack why and learn how we can do better. Host: Piper Huguley

Victorian Era: Industrial Revolution, political reform and social change—the Victorian era is ripe with history. Chat with fellow enthusiasts about this ever-popular time period for all subgenres of historical fiction. Host: Adrienne Roach

World Wars I & II: Let’s discuss this popular era for fiction and how novelists can find new inspiration. Host: M.K. Tod

American Revolution: The American Revolution marked a turning point not only in American history, but in human history, and has served as an inspiration for generations all around the globe.  The human aspects of the Revolution are a wealth of complex and contradictory stories — just the sort of assemblage that offers us opportunities to draw readers into a period that everyone knows about, but very few have really explored deeply.  There are both famous and infamous figures to populate our pages, and the stakes are as high as they go.  With the approach of the semiquincentennial, interest in the Revolutionary era will be spiking in the years ahead, and there’s never been a better time to add to the literature of the period. Host: Lars D. H. Hedbor


Sunday, June 27

7:00-9:00am

Conference Chitchat: On this last day of the conference, let’s chat about our favorite sessions, the moments that stood out to us, and what we’re taking away from HNS2021. Host: Rose Lortz Spears

Shaping the Future of Histfic: We’re tapping into the conference theme, Shake it Up! Let’s talk about what we, as readers and writers, can do to shape the future of our genre. Host: Vanitha Sankaran

Turning Family History into Historical Fiction: Are you fascinated by your family history and thinking of writing it into a novel? Or already have? Family stories have provided fodder for novelists throughout time. Come share your thoughts about the hows and whys, the fun, and the challenges of this kind of writing. Host: Nancy Kilgore