Wednesday 1 February – Sunday 5 February, 2023

The History Quill will host a five day virtual convention for historical fiction writers on 1–5 February, 2023. Our concept is based on the idea of building your own convention, thus creating an experience tailored to your particular interests. Each of the five days has a theme, and you can attend for all five days or only one day, or anything in between, depending on where your interests lie. As this is a virtual convention, participation will be exclusively online, via Zoom.

There will be multiple events on each day, all of them matching the theme of the day. These will include expert presentations, panel discussions, networking opportunities, discussion groups, critique sessions, and more. There will also be special one-to-one sessions with editors, literary agents, and authors that can be booked for an extra fee in January.

The vast majority of the convention will be recorded (there are some exclusions, e.g. one-to-one sessions, live critiques, and discussion groups – these are marked on the agenda). You’ll have access to recordings for the days you have booked, and we’ll give you a choice between lifetime access for a small fee or four weeks’ access for free.

You can read more about each day below. We’ve included a summary of the theme of each day, some highlights, a full event list that you can toggle, and a link to download the convention agenda. You can book your place at the convention using any of the ‘build your convention’ buttons on this page.

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Themes

DAY ONE (1 February) – HISTORICAL FICTION IN 2023

We will kick off our convention with a day dedicated to discussing historical fiction in 2023. We’ll explore current and emerging trends in the historical fiction book market, how the wider book industry will change, marketing trends, diversity and representation, and much more. The day will help you get ahead of the curve in understanding and capitalising on the changes on the horizon.

Highlights

Here are three of our top highlights from day one:

Jane Friedman and Dave Chesson in conversation: top predictions for the book industry in 2023

Jane Friedman

Dave Chesson

How to market historical fiction in 2023

Anna Caig

Town hall: what are historical fiction readers looking for in 2023?

Moderated by #HFChitChat co-hosts:

Sydney Young

Janna G. Noelle

Gabriella Saab

Olesya Salnikova Gilmore

Click here to see a full list of day one events

All events are recorded except for those marked with an asterisk (*). If you can’t participate in an event live due to the timing/time zone, the recording will enable you to watch it at a time convenient for you.

11:30 – 12:30 (GMT) / 06:30 – 07:30 (EST)
Book cover design trends in 2023
Stuart Bache (Books Covered)

13:30 – 14:30 (GMT) / 08:30 – 09:30 (EST)
How to market historical fiction in 2023
Anna Caig

15:00 – 16:30 (GMT) / 10:00 – 11:30 (EST)
Market trends in historical fiction
Nia Beynon, Laura Deacon, Jessica Ererra

16:00 – 17:30 (GMT) / 11:00 – 12:30 (EST)
Diversity and representation: next steps for historical fiction 
Nancy Adimona, Yvonne Battle-Felton, Michiel Kolman 

17:30 – 18:15 (GMT) / 12:30 – 13:15 (EST) *Not recorded
Networking event

18:30– 20:00 (GMT) / 13:30 – 15:00 (EST)
Jane Friedman and Dave Chesson in conversation: top predictions for the book industry in 2023
Dave Chesson, Jane Friedman

20:30 – 22:00 (GMT) / 15:30 – 17:00 (EST)
What are historical fiction readers looking for in 2023?
Olesya Salnikova Gilmore, Janna G. Noelle, Gabriella Saab and Sydney Young (#HFChitChat)

22:30 – 23:30 (GMT) / 17:30 – 18:30 (EST)
The evolving audiobook landscape
Speaker TBC

00:00– 01:00 (GMT) / 19:00 – 20:00 (EST)
How should authors use social media in 2023? 
Shayla Raquel

01:30– 02:30 (GMT) / 20:30 – 21:30 (EST)
Podcasting for authors
Kitty Felde

You can download the full convention agenda, including detailed summaries of each event, speaker bios, and timings, using the button below.

Ready to book?

Use the button below to review the pricing and book your place!

DAY TWO (2 February) – MONEY AND MINDSET: HOW TO SUCCEED AS A HISTORICAL NOVELIST

Day two will explore success in historical fiction – what it means and how it can be achieved. We’ll look at how to define success for you, how to run an author business and make a living from historical fiction, how to develop the right mindset and habits, and everything else that goes into turning your passion for writing into a successful enterprise.

Highlights

Here are three of our top highlights from day two:

How to be an author entrepreneur

Joanna Penn (The Creative Penn)

How to make a living from historical fiction

Denny S. Bryce

Angus Donald

Kim Taylor Blakemore

Chasing golden apples: the true meaning(s) of success

Octavia Randolph

Click here to see a full list of day two events

0onfidenceAll events are recorded except for those marked with an asterisk (*). If you can’t participate in an event live due to the timing/time zone, the recording will enable you to watch it at a time convenient for you.

10:30 – 11:30 (GMT) / 05:30 – 06:30 (EST)
How to succeed even when you’ve made every mistake in the book
MJ Porter

12:00 – 13:00 (GMT) / 07:00 – 08:00 (EST)
Productivity and motivation: The habits of a best selling author
Emily K Murdoch

13:30 – 15:00 (GMT) / 08:30 – 10:00 (EST)
Beating the block: three stories of overcoming writer’s block
Donovan Cook, Peter Gibbons, MJ Porter

15:30 – 16:30 (GMT) / 10:30 – 11:30 (EST)
Chasing golden apples: the true meaning(s) of success
Octavia Randolph

15:30 – 16:30 (GMT) / 10:30 – 11:30 (EST)
Historical fiction in the creator economy: earning beyond your book(s)
Orna Ross

17:00 – 18:00 (GMT) / 12:00 – 13:00 (EST) *Not recorded
Discussion group: successes and challenges

18:30 – 20:00 (GMT) / 13:30 – 15:00 (EST)
How to be an author entrepreneur
Joanna Penn

20:30 – 22:00 (GMT) / 15:30 – 17:00 (EST)
How to make a living from historical fiction
Kim Taylor Blakemore, Denny S Bryce, Angus Donald

23:00 – 00:00 (GMT) / 18:00 – 19:00 (EST)
Find your writing tribe: how to find a supportive writing community
Edie Cay, C.V. Lee, Michal Strutin (Paper Lantern Writers) 

00:30 – 01:30 (GMT) / 19:30 – 20:30 (EST)
Confidence is everything: how to banish imposter syndrome and believe in yourself
Speaker TBC

You can download the full convention agenda, including detailed summaries of each event, speaker bios, and timings, using the button below.

Ready to book?

Use the button below to review the pricing and book your place!

DAY THREE (3 February) – PUBLISHING PATHWAYS

Day three will focus on publishing pathways for historical fiction. We will explore the advantages and disadvantages of different publishing options – including traditional publishing, self-publishing, and hybrid – and look at how to achieve success with each. There will be sessions on how to get a literary agent, the practical details of self-publishing, Q&As with agents and publishers, live query critiques, and more.

Highlights

Here are three of our top highlights from day three:

Choosing the right publishing pathway for you

Melissa Addey 

Matthew Harffy

Clare Flynn

How to get a literary agent for your historical novel

Juliet Mushens (Mushens Entertainment)

Amy Maroney and Elizabeth St. John in conversation: Self-publishing historical fiction

Amy Maroney

Elizabeth St. John

Click here to see a full list of day three events

All events are recorded except for those marked with an asterisk (*). If you can’t participate in an event live due to the timing/time zone, the recording will enable you to watch it at a time convenient for you.

12:00 – 13:00 (GMT) / 07:00 – 08:00 (EST)
The challenges of translations
Marion Wiesler

13:30 – 14:30 (GMT) / 08:30 – 09:30 (EST)
The top five reasons I might reject your query
Robbie Guillory

15:00 – 16:30 (GMT) / 10:00 – 11:30 (EST)
Traditional publishing: what I wish I knew when I was starting out
Charlotte Betts, Louise Hare, Gabriella Saab

15:00 – 16:30 (GMT) / 10:00 – 11:30 (EST) *Not recorded
Live critique: pitch your novel
Charlotte Colwill, Craig Lye

17:00 – 18:00 (GMT) / 12:00 – 13:00 (EST)
Self-publishing: everything you need to know
Eric Schumacher

17:00 – 18:00 (GMT) / 12:00 – 13:00 (EST)
How to get a literary agent for your historical novel
Juliet Mushens

18:15 – 19:00 (GMT) / 13:15 – 14:00 (EST) *Not recorded
Discussion group: your experiences in publishing and self-publishing

19:30 – 21:00 (GMT) / 14:30 – 16:00 (EST)
Choosing the right publishing pathway for you
Melissa Addey, Clare Flynn, Matthew Harffy

21:00 – 22:00 (GMT) / 16:00 – 17:00 (EST) *Not recorded
Agent/Publisher Q&A
Charlotte Colwill, Jessica Errera, Craig Lye

23:00 – 00:00 (GMT) / 18:00 – 19:00 (EST)
Hybrid and partnership publishing—
a viable alternative? 
Shelley Blanton-Stroud

00:30 – 01:30 (GMT) / 19:30 – 20:30 (EST)
Amy Maroney and Elizabeth St.John in conversation: self-publishing historical fiction
Amy Maroney, Elizabeth St.John

02:00 – 03:00 (GMT) / 21:00 – 22:00 (EST)
Earning attention: a guide to acting as your own publicist
Finola Austin

You can download the full convention agenda, including detailed summaries of each event, speaker bios, and timings, using the button below.

Day three includes the opportunity to have a one-to-one session with a literary agent for an added fee. We will provide more details on this in January for those who have booked this day.

Ready to book?

Use the button below to review the pricing and book your place!

DAY FOUR (4 February) – WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION

Drawing on the knowledge of our editors, experts, and successful historical fiction authors, day four will explore what it takes to write great historical fiction. We will explore key debates and challenges specific to the genre, while also covering broader craft topics. For those just getting started in historical fiction, this day is the perfect introduction, while more experienced writers will benefit from developing their knowledge, hearing new perspectives, and making connections.

Highlights

Here are three of our top highlights from day four:

Turning history into fiction: challenges and opportunities

Kate Williams

Writing your first historical novel

Melissa Fu

Louise Morrish

Lizzie Pook

Before you start writing: how to research historical fiction

Sarah Gristwood

Click here to see a full list of day four events

All events are recorded except for those marked with an asterisk (*). If you can’t participate in an event live due to the timing/time zone, the recording will enable you to watch it at a time convenient for you.

11:00 – 12:00 (GMT) / 06:00 – 07:00 (EST)
Finding the idea
Louise Fein, Louise Hare, Eleni Kyriacou, Frances Quinn 

12:30 – 13:30 (GMT) / 07:30 – 08:30 (EST)
Before you start writing: how to research historical fiction
Sarah Gristwood

14:00 – 15:30 (GMT) / 09:00 – 10:30 (EST)
Reflecting reality in historical fiction: how to write inclusively about the past
Anni Domingo, Kate Morrison, Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer

16:00 – 17:30 (GMT) / 11:00 – 12:30 (EST)
Writing your first historical novel
Melissa Fu, Louise Morrish, Lizzie Pook 

17:30 – 18:30 (GMT) / 12:30 – 13:30 (EST) *Not recorded
Discussion group on craft tips

18:30 – 20:00 (GMT) / 13:30 – 15:00 (EST)
Turning history into fiction: challenges and opportunities
Kate Williams

20:30 – 22:00 (GMT) / 15:30 – 17:00 (EST) *Not recorded
Editor live critique
Pippa Chappell, Edward Willis

22:30 – 23:30 (GMT) / 17:30 – 18:30 (EST)
Fictionalising family 
Mari Christie, Kathryn Pritchett, Linda Ulleseit (Paper Lantern Writers)

00:00 – 01:00 (GMT) / 19:00 – 20:00 (EST)
Taming the beast: how editing tools can make writing easier 
Penny Fields 

01:30 – 03:00 (GMT) / 20:30 – 22:00 (EST)
Creating authentic characters
(Historical Writers Forum)

You can download the full convention agenda, including detailed summaries of each event, speaker bios, and timings, using the button below.

Day four includes the opportunity to have a one-to-one session with an editor from The History Quill for an added fee. We will provide more details on this in January for those who have booked this day.

Ready to book?

Use the button below to review the pricing and book your place!

DAY FIVE (5 February) – TAKING YOUR WRITING TO THE NEXT LEVEL

On day five, we’ll build on the foundations of day four and move on to more advanced topics, including using more sophisticated writing techniques, experimenting with unconventional approaches, and tackling complex challenges. This day is ideal for experienced and intermediate writers looking to advance their craft, but also for beginners who want to stretch themselves and see what lies ahead.

Highlights

Here are three of our top highlights from day five:

Advanced techniques for historical fiction writers

Emma Darwin

Masterclass: writing powerful women

Johanna Wittenberg

Imagining the darkness: senses and setting in historical fiction

Deborah Swift

Jean Briggs

Matthew Booth

Click here to see a full list of day five events

All events are recorded except for those marked with an asterisk (*). If you can’t participate in an event live due to the timing/time zone, the recording will enable you to watch it at a time convenient for you.

11:00 – 12:00 (GMT) / 06:00 – 07:00 (EST)
The layer cake method for revising your WIP
Robin Henry

12:30 – 13:30 (GMT) / 07:30 – 08:30 (EST)
Unreliable narration 
Edward Willis

14:00 – 15:30 (GMT) / 09:00 – 10:30 (EST)
Imagining the darkness: senses and setting in historical fiction 
Matthew Booth, Jean Briggs, Deborah Swift

14:30 – 15:30 (GMT) / 09:30 – 10:30 (EST)
Co-writing a historical novel
Ashlee Cowles, Danielle Stinson 

16:00 – 17:30 (GMT) / 11:00 – 12:30 (EST)
Advanced techniques for historical fiction writers
Emma Darwin

17:30 – 18:30 (GMT) / 12:30 – 13:30 (EST) *Not recorded
Discussion group: subgenres

19:00 – 22:00 (GMT) / 14:00 – 17:00 (EST)
Masterclass: writing powerful women
Johanna Wittenberg

23:00 – 00:00 (GMT) / 18:00 – 19:00 (EST)
Sequels and series: the art of planning ahead
Michelle Cox

00:30 – 01:30 (GMT) / 19:30 – 20:30 (EST)
Writing detail and dialogue to time and place 
Maryka Biaggio

02:00 – 03:00 (GMT) / 21:00 – 22:00 (EST)
Travelling without moving: creating a sense of place and accuracy when you can’t visit your book’s location
Elizabeth Andersen, Kelly Evans 

You can download the full convention agenda, including detailed summaries of each event, speaker bios, and timings, using the button below.

Day five includes the opportunity to have a one-to-one session with an author mentor for an added fee. We will provide more details on this in January for those who have booked this day.

Ready to book?

Use the button below to review the pricing and book your place!

Testimonials

See testimonials below from writers who attended our 2022 convention.

I have wanted to be a writer for a long time but never thought it was possible to change careers at this stage of my life. This conference changed my mind. After five days immersed in all that the History Quill had to offer, I feel like my life has changed. I can do this. Why did I ever think differently? Thanks for creating a safe space for authors like me to grow.

Leslie Borden

The History Quill team and the speakers were just outstanding. After five days, it felt like you were coming online to hang out with your much smarter historical author friends. The knowledge that was passed on to us has opened up pathways for us all. We came out of this conference with new friends, new contacts, and so much new knowledge. If you did this five times a year I would be at every single one. I wouldn’t want to miss one minute. I can’t say enough good things.

Alex Andersen

This was a superbly organised conference with a focus on a genre that usually gets neglected at similar events. It was a pleasure to attend, network and learn with like-minded authors. I would definitely recommend it to all writers of historical fiction and am looking forward to booking my ticket for the next conference.

Birgit Constant

I am amazed at how much I learned at the convention. Each of the presentations I attended was interesting and I took something away from each one. I look forward to watching the replays of the ones I was unable to attend and hope to hear more about future events.

Carol Amorosi

What a great way to start off a new year! I equate it to a writing transfusion – it was nourishing, healing and gave me a burst of inspiration for the next twelve months.

JoLee Kennedy

The History Quill convention is the go-to event for writers of historical fiction. It was the best organised virtual convention I’ve attended and the quality of the speakers was excellent. I particularly enjoyed the live critique sessions.

Shelley Dark

The History Quill Writers Convention far exceeded my expectations. From panel discussions to presentations and workshops, I learned so much about writing historical fiction. But that was far from all that was offered. I also learned about being an author in the social media age, about trends and the future of writing, and whether I should write traditionally, or as a hybrid or indie author. It was definitely worth my time and money!

Victoria Steele Logue

This was an exceptionally well-run online conference that covered a wide array of topics. There was something for everyone, from the beginner to the published author.

Patricia Hudson

This conference exceeded my expectations with a brilliant lineup of talented presenters providing outstanding content. And, the management of the entire event was professional and well-organized. Most of all, the conference created a friendly, supportive environment, which is not easy to do, especially on Zoom. I felt like I was with my people.

Anne Supsic

Ready to book?

Use the button below to review the pricing and book your place!

Frequently asked questions

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Which countries will you accept bookings from?

We welcome bookings from people who are resident in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada (excluding Saskatchewan), Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and any EU country. If you are not resident in one of these countries, unfortunately we won’t be able to accept your business at this time.

Please note the stipulation about time zones below.

Will you accommodate different time zones?

We have organised the convention schedule to align well with North American and European time zones. Most events will take place at times of the day that are suitable for both North American and European participants. A small number of events will take place either in the early morning in North America or the late evening in Europe, but most of these events will be recorded for you to watch later.

If you are outside North America and Europe, you can still participate, but the convention may not align well with your local time zone. However, most of the convention will be recorded for you to watch at your convenience.

Will the convention be recorded?

Yes, the vast majority of the convention will be recorded and available for viewing for up to four weeks afterwards for free. You also have the option of getting lifetime access to the recordings for a small fee equal to 10% of the total cost of the convention. You can select this option on the checkout page.

A small number of events won’t be recorded, such as one-to-one sessions, live critiques, and discussion groups, as these are focused almost entirely on live participation. Any events that won’t be recorded will be marked on the agenda.

Where can I find the full agenda?

You can access the full agenda via any of the relevant buttons on this page, or you can download it here.

How interactive will the sessions be? Can I ask questions?

The convention will be very interactive. All of our panels and presentations will include some time for questions and answers at the end, and several of our sessions focus on interactive discussion and critique.

What does 'build your own convention' mean?

It means you can decide which theme days you want to attend and which you don’t. This will allow you to build an experience tailored to your interests. You can attend all five days, just one day, or anything in between.

What if I can't attend some of the days but still want to have access to the events?

No problem! If you want to attend but are unable to join us live for some or all of the days, you can watch the recordings at your convenience instead.

How much does the convention cost?

Go to the booking page here to see the pricing. You can book all five days, just one day, or anything in between. You will receive a 10% discount for each additional day booked, rising to a maximum 40% discount for all five days.

I would like to participate in one of the interactive critiquing sessions. How can I do this?

We are offering two interactive critiquing sessions during the convention – a query pitch critique session on day three and a first page editor critique session on day four. They will only be available to those who book the corresponding days and will require work to be submitted in advance. We will provide more information about how you can participate in these in January.

If you do not wish to have your work critiqued, you are still welcome to attend these sessions to observe.

I would like to book a one-to-one session. When and how can I do this?

We are offering one-to-one sessions with literary agents, editors, and author mentors on day three, day four, and day five respectively. These are offered as add-ons to the convention for an extra fee. They are only available to people who have booked these respective days, will require work to be submitted in advance, and places will be limited. We will provide more information on these sessions, including who they will be with, how to book, and the fee, in January.

Where can I see the full terms and conditions?

You can view our full terms and conditions here. There is a section dedicated to virtual events and the convention.

More questions?

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing us at events@thehistoryquill.com.

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