Hang out with like-minded fellow attendees in one of our themed conversation rooms. Hosts will be announced soon!
From indigenous peoples and early European settlers to the American Revolution, the Civil War and westward expansion, and into the 21st century, America’s history is both inspirational and controversial. It’s also very popular with readers! Chat with fellow enthusiasts about reading and writing historical fiction set in America.
Working on that first novel? Meet up with fellow first-timers to talk about the highs and lows of birthing your first book baby and choosing a path to publication. Find inspiration and motivation and maybe even a critique partner or launch buddy!
We’re all book lovers, and most of us keep up a pretty healthy reading habit while we’re working on our own stories. Come chat with your fellow attendees about the best historical novels you’ve read lately and your all-time favorites. (Please note this is not the place to talk about your own books. Let’s share our love for other authors!) Fair warning, your TBR list is about to grow exponentially! Sorry, not sorry!
BookTok and Bookstagram
Seems like just when you’ve mastered one social media platform, another one surges in popularity. Both TikTok and Instagram have huge book communities that have earned their own hashtags. At the same time, it’s important to understand which readers use these platforms and which get their book recs elsewhere. Come learn more about these communities and how fellow attendees are leveraging them to share their books with readers, and share your own tips!
By popular request, we’re facilitating a space for writers to meet fellow writers who share their interests, writing habits, styles, and preferences in the hopes that you may forge new friendships that could lead to beautiful critique partnerships. We’ll also talk about what to expect from these partnerships. If you’re looking to swap critique services or just need someone to help cheer you on and hold you accountable, come join us and get to know fellow attendees who are looking for the same thing.
Healing in Histfic
The healing arts have come a long way, and chances are no matter what time period you’re writing in or what subject you’re writing about, you’re eventually going to have a character who needs medical attention. Come chat with fellow writers about medicine through the ages, research resources, and tips for incorporating healthcare into your novels.
Whether you’re writing a historical romance, a romantic historical, or you just enjoy a good love story with that happily ever after, you’ll find plenty of camaraderie and inspiration in this group! Let’s talk about the differences in the these subgenres, trends and tropes, and why romance is still so hugely popular today.
Indie publishing has many benefits, but it also has its share of challenges. You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers! Or maybe you’d just like to bond with other authors on the same journey. Join fellow attendees to talk about tips and trends and what to know when going indie.
Mystery & History
Historical mysteries continue to be popular across all time periods. Whether you’ve been writing them for years, are just starting out, love reading them, or just want to add a tinge of mystery to your work, meet your fellow mystery enthusiasts to talk about trends, rewards, and challenges of sleuthing in historical fiction.
Myth-based historical fiction is on the rise, from Song of Achilles to a spate of new novels highlighting both classic tales of mythology and more obscure stories that need to be shared! Chat with fellow enthusiasts about why stories based on the mythological histories of many cultures continue to be popular and how writers can find new inspiration in them today.
Everybody says you need to have one. But what are the benefits for you and your readers? How do you get started? How do you keep it fresh month after month, year after year? How do you get subscribers and how do you keep them? Let’s discuss these questions and share tips and dos and donts for author newsletters in the 21st century.
Fiction based on history in non-Western regions is growing in popularity. Meet up with other writers and readers interested in fiction outside of the Western world and talk about the challenges and joys of bringing underrepresented cultures to life on the page for today’s readers.
Paranormal, Supernatural & Fantastical
If you’re writing fantasy based on a historical era, a spooky ghost story set in the past, or a tale incorporating mythical or dark creatures of folklore, this is the group for you! Fantasy, what-ifs, and the supernatural have long had a place in histfic. Come chat with fellow writers about infusing historical fiction with these elements.
As historical novelists, we love to research, and we’ve all fallen down those rabbit holes—most of us more frequently than we’d care to admit! We’ve each developed our own methods and have discovered the best places to find what we need. But sometimes the answers elude us. Come chat with your fellow research junkies about your challenges and successes and share tips and resources with each other.
Writing about queens, kings, princesses, or emperors? From household names to lesser-known rulers taking their place in the spotlight, novelists writing about royalty sometimes have their work cut out for them in making these characters relatable and sympathetic—or not, as the case may be. There are often conflicting accounts and bias in the historical records about these rulers, and readers have eagle eyes when it comes to stories of their favorites. Come chat with fellow attendees about the continuing attraction to these stories and share your favorite tips for writing them.
Sex & Sexuality in Histfic
From ancient Roman orgies to the repression of female sexuality in the 19th century and on into the sexual revolution, sex and history go hand in hand, and how you portray sexuality in your novel can depend on several factors. Join us for a spicy discussion on the history of sex, how to portray sex in historical novels, and how to include the underrepresented LGBTQIA+ community when writing stories set in the past.
Spies & Soldiers
From ancient times to the Cold War, history is full of espionage and conflict, heroes and villains, and abundant inspiration for historical novels. Many recent novels have trended toward telling the stories of how ordinary people helped turn the tide of war. Let’s talk about what draws us to these stories, where writers are finding inspiration, and their importance in today’s world.
Sweeping Stories & Sagas
Do you like big books and you cannot lie? Then this is the group for you! Chat with fellow attendees who are reading and writing lengthy tomes or multi-book series with many characters, sometimes covering decades and even centuries. Let’s talk about the joys and challenges of writing and publishing epic stories for modern audiences.
Tales of Texas
Shout-out to the 2023 conference’s in-person location! If you’re writing in Texas or about Texas or just enjoy reading historical fiction based in the Lone Star State, this group is for you. From Lonesome Dove to News of the World, literature is full of tales from the rich and sometimes troubled history of the second biggest state in America. Let’s talk about our favorite books and the joys and challenges of writing our own Texas-based novels.
The state of the industry is constantly in flux—not only did the pandemic have a big impact on publishing, but the recent Department of Justice investigation of the Penguin Random House/Simon & Schuster acquisition revealed a lot of insight into how books get published. Whether you are already traditionally published or hope to be, join fellow attendees to share your experiences and learn more about what it means to go down the route of traditional publishing.
Writing Family History
Many novelists find their way to historical fiction because they are inspired to write the stories of their ancestors’ lives. But writing a novel based on your family history can be as challenging as it is rewarding. Let’s share tips on how to craft characters from real people, how much you should embellish, and how to make your family’s stories engaging as works of fiction.