Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals!

Instructions and Submission Form

Historical Novel Society Conference 2017

June 22-24, 2017

Portland, Oregon


The 2017 HNS North American Conference Board is pleased to present its Call For Proposals for the 2017 Conference in Portland, Oregon. Building on the successes of previous conferences, we will offer our most popular types of programming (some with new tweaks) and we’ll also debut a few new formats and events. We want to attract a variety of attendees and presenters, who share our mutual passion for historical fiction. The deadline for submission is September 30, 2016.

As you develop your proposals, bear in mind that Conference attendees will be comprised of: hundreds of authors representing every stage of the journey from novice novelists to multi-published authors; readers; bloggers; educators; librarians; and others with an interest in historical fiction.

At our 7th North American Conference we hope to showcase diversity both within the historical fiction genre and among its authors and fans. Proposals on a variety of topics are welcome, including: subgenres such as historical mystery, historical romance, historical crime/thriller, young adult historical fiction; race and diversity in historical fiction; novels about swashbuckling heroes written by men; and double narratives across time periods.

With these topics to whet your imagination, please bear in mind that for 2017 we would like to encourage the participation of fresh faces and new voices among the familiar ones on our panels and in our workshops. If you are a veteran HNS presenter, please consider inviting an author who may be newer to the genre (or a veteran author new to the conference) to round out your proposal.

Presenters are invited to consider the following general programming tracks:

  • Trends and forecasts: What’s true and what’s new in publishing and marketing of historical fiction
  • The writer’s process: Summoning the muse (i.e., using software and other technical aids as well as historical nonfiction for your research)
  • Craft: Writing dialogue for different periods
  • Readers’ Festival (i.e., authors talking to readers – see below for more detail)

We are seeking proposals in a variety of formats, as described below.

  • Panel. One of our most popular formats, the panel, should consist of no more than four participants and a moderator. Of course, one of the panelists may also serve as moderator. Panels are an especially valuable way to discuss a variety of perspectives on a particular topic or theme.
  • Presentation. Presentations are typically offered by a single individual with expertise on a particular topic, e.g., how to market your novel or methods for ensuring dialogue fits your time period.
  • Workshop. Workshops are interactive and allow participants to engage with a topic or skill, e.g., using Scrivener™ to write your novel.
  • Koffee Klatch. Hour-long Koffee Klatches can take one of two forms. In the traditional free-form discussion a single author discusses anything and everything the author and participants wish to discuss. In the themed Koffee Klatch one or two authors known for their novels on a particular theme offer a discussion on that. The themed Koffee Klatches can also focus on crossover subgenres like historical mystery, crime, romance, etc. The title of your Koffee Klatch should make it clear whether it will be free-form (e.g., “A Discussion with Author Jane Jones”) or themed (e.g., on a specific historical time period or historical fiction focus, like “Exploring Ancient Rome” or “Corsets and Weaponry: Getting it Right”).

We are also delighted to announce another new feature for HNS2017 in Portland!

The Saturday Afternoon Readers’ Festival will be a separate ticketed event open to the entire Portland community. (Of course, regular registrants are also welcome to attend.) If you are specifically interested in presenting a panel, presentation, or Koffee Klatch that would have appeal to the community of readers, check the appropriate box below to let us know.

Presenters agree that if their proposal is accepted they will register for the conference, inform Program Chair Leslie Carroll of any changes in their program prior to or during the conference, and present their program at the assigned program time. Each presenter, regardless of the number of programs on which he/she appears, will receive a $50 honorarium at the conference.

To submit a proposal, please fill out the form below. Note: Once you submit the form you will no longer be able to change it.


Fields marked with a * are required.
Note: For multiple presenters, add additional presenter bios at end of form.
Note: To select more than one item, hold down control while selecting.
Note: HNS does not provide connection cables for Apple computers.

Finally please note: In the meeting rooms there is only one internet network available. Thus, presenters should not expect to be able to access the internet for their presentations. If you wish to use any content from the internet, you should download it to your computer beforehand.

Presenter Terms:

Presenters agree that if their proposal is accepted they will register for the conference, inform Program Chair Leslie Carroll of any changes in their program prior to or during the conference, and present their program at the assigned program time. All presenters, regardless of the number of programs on which they appear, will receive a $50 honorarium at the conference.

Deadline: September 30, 2016

Notices will be sent no later than October 31, 2016.


The 2017 Conference Board:

Ann Chamberlin, Chair

Leslie Carroll, Program Chair

Maryka Biaggio, Venue Chair

Vicky Oliver, Marketing Chair

Elizabeth K. Mahon, Secretary/Agents & Editors Liaison

Julie VanLaanen, Registration Chair

Peter Wev, Finance Chair