Join us for a full day of HNS PreConference Academy classes, with interactive workshops on period weaponry from guns to steel, an all-day writing craft workshop presented by a master storyteller, and a duo of afternoon courses that will teach you how to make your opening pages soar and your characters’ dialogue leap off the page.

Our legendary costume contest becomes a conference icebreaker, moving to the Thursday night cocktail party. Everyone is invited to dress up and every attendee becomes a judge as attendees meet and mingle. On June 22, it’s okay for Charles I to rub elbows with Cromwell, or for Marie Antoinette to share a glass of champagne with Robespierre!

Register early (space is limited to 70 participants) for the cocktail event of the ages!  Hooch through History: from Mead to Martinis will offer a tasting flight across the centuries, from the Middle Ages to the Mad Men era of the Swinging Sixties. On Friday from 5:00-6:30, our spirit-ual guide, food and beverage historian Isobel Carr, will lead us through the whats, whys, and wheres of six different period-accurate beverages. Never tasted absinthe before? Don’t know how it’s prepared? Wonder why it was banned and whether it really is an aphrodisiac? You won’t want to miss this! Participants receive a souvenir absinthe spoon as well! ($50 per person).

On Saturday Afternoon the HNS Conference inaugurates our first Readers Festival! This special ticketed event is open to the Portland community (conference goers may also attend the special sessions) and will feature an afternoon of special programming followed by Tea & Treats with our two guests of honor, Pulitzer prize winner Geraldine Brooks and acclaimed author David Ebershoff. All Classical Radio DJ Ed Goldberg, star of Portland’s popular “Author Author” program, will interview our guests of honor and moderate questions from the audience. (Ed Goldberg’s appearance is courtesy of All Classical Portland, KQAC 89.9 FM).

Stick around after Saturday night’s banquet as we adjourn from the Grand Ballroom to the Pavilion Room—not for brandy and cigars—but for a Regency Masquerade “Hellfire” Afterparty! Pick up a complimentary domino mask at the door and get ready to “make one of a party” with English Country Dance, led by expert caller/instructor David Macemon, accompanied by keyboard, violin, and flute. Not prepared to “put on the dog”? Try your hand at a game of Whist, taught by Marva Wiebe of Portland’s Jane Austen Society, and her able assistants. If you’re still thirsty you can purchase a drink at the hotel bar and bring it up to the dance floor or to your card table.


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