Is This Your First Time?


Are you looking forward to the Historical Novel Society Conference in Denver next June?

I am! I’m a relatively new member of HNS. I attended my first conference in San Diego in 2011. I hoped to mix it up with other fans—writers and reader—of historical fiction, and I found the group quite welcoming. In fact, I responded to a request for attendees to submit a write-up of their conference experience for the newsletter, and Editor Sarah Johnson took a chance on this newbie. That’s the kind of organization HNS is!

But I also had more serious business in mind when I registered for the conference. I’d recently put the finishing touches on my historical novel and wanted to pitch it. So I researched the agents taking pitches and signed up for the ones whose interests aligned most closely with my novel’s subject and style. I wrote and rewrote my pitch, memorized it, tweaked it all over again, and then threw away my notes. I fretted over whether to concoct some snappy elevator pitch and decided to stick with my lengthier pitch. Then, at a group pitch session, an agent asked us for our quickest pitch. I made one up on the spot—a one-sentence pitch with no lack of pith. And that agent asked me to submit my whole manuscript.

As it turned out, I didn’t sign with that agent. But that was only because an agent I had cold queried beat her to the punch and offered representation shortly after the conference. And now I’m a published author. It took years, but attending the HNS Conference gave me the confidence attendant to any writer’s good fortune (that and years of hard work, of course).

I subsequently attended the London HNS Conference in 2012 and the St. Petersburg, Florida, Conference in 2013. In fact, I even submitted my name in response to a request after the 2013 Conference to assist with the 2015 Conference. And when I got the call requesting I serve as Treasurer I didn’t hesitate to accept. HNS puts on a great conference—one that readers, writers, and people in the business can all enjoy.

So plan on joining us in Denver, June 26-28, 2015, for another wonderful event!

marykaMaryka Biaggio

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