Our HNSA conference weekend in Melbourne was absolutely fabulous! A lot of hard work went into its organisation, but it was a wonderful weekend with so many author friends to catch up with, and so many new people to meet, both writers and readers but all of them lovers of historical fiction! The conference kicked off with a reception on Friday night, followed by an action-packed two days of author panels, writing workshops, academic programmes as well as a chance for budding authors to have their work critiqued – so there really was something for everyone! Our dinner photo on the left (Saturday night) features Lisa Chaplin, Nicole Alexander, Isolde Martyn and Shirley Patten, and we all enjoyed not only the meal but also the after-dinner speaker, the very entertaining Robert Gott. It was great to see so many authors from interstate and also from New Zealand, including Ngahuia te Awekotuku who chaired a panel on Authenticity vs Truth: does historical fiction need to be accurate? (You may have your own ideas that you’d like to share here!) I shared a panel on writing timeslip novels (my favourite!) with Ella Carey, Belinda Murrell and Gary Crew, ably chaired by Catherine Padmore. I was also privileged to chair a panel on Writing Fiction for CYA: how difficult can it be? with inspirational authors Wendy Orr, Gabrielle Wang, Alan Tucker and Pamela Rushby (and that’s Pam and me escaping to the next session pictured at the back, with Gabrielle in front.) It was a really interesting discussion – and I think we were all in furious agreement that writing for CYA is NOT just an apprenticeship for writing ‘real’ fiction for adults! You may have some ideas on that too, if you’d like to share them here!