Monday, August 14, 2017

Imagining the Past Podcast Series: Kelly Gardiner and Catherine Padmore




HNSA is proud to announce the release of the final podcast in our series 'Imagining the Past' before the 2017 HNSA Melbourne Conference. This week our host, Kelly Gardiner, is in the hot seat chatting with colleague, Catherine Padmore, about historical bio-fiction. The podcast is a taste of what you will hear at the 2017 HNSA Conference in Melbourne from 8-10 September at Swinburne University Hawthorn. More information about the programme is available at our website.



Dr Catherine Padmore was awarded her PhD in creative writing in 2002, and she has taught literary studies and creative writing at La Trobe since 2005. Her first novel, Sibyl’s Cave (Allen and Unwin, 2004) was shortlisted for The Australian/Vogel Award and commended in the first book category of The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (south-east Asia and south Pacific region). Catherine has been awarded two retreat fellowships at Varuna, the Writers’ House, and in 2014 she was short-listed for their Publisher Introduction Program. She has novels-in-progress about Amy Dudley and Levina Teerlinc. Her short creative works have been published in Island, The Journal of Australian Writers and Writing, The Big Issue, The Australian, Dotlit, Antithesis and in the anthology Reflecting on Melbourne (Poetica Christi, 2009). Catherine’s scholarly work has been published in Australian Literary Studies, TEXT, JASAL, Life Writing and Lateral, with chapters in Telling Stories: Australian Life and Literature 1935-2012 (MUP, 2013) and Expanding the Canon of Early Modern Women’s Writing (CSP, 2010).

You can purchase Sibyl's Cave via Allen & Unwin.


An evocative novel about memory and discovery anchored to the landscape and colours of Italy, England and Australia. Shortlisted for the Australian/Vogel's Literary Award 2001.

Steeped in the landscape and colours of its locations, Sibyl's Cave follows the orphaned Billie through her childhood in Italy to the United Kingdom during World War II with her adopted family, to art school and then, finally, to her new life as an adult in Australia.

Interrupting the reclusive island life that Billie shares with Troy her housekeeper and Stan her housemate on the Hawkesbury River, Billie's niece Lorelei and her daughter Elissa arrive unannounced from England. As their lives intertwine stories emerge and secrets are revealed.

With an evocative eye for personality and place, Sibyl's Cave alternates between Billie's past, unearthed in her diaries and memories, and her present-day life on the island. It is a rich story about family and the importance of identity.


Kelly Gardiner’s most recent book is 1917 (published early in 2017), a novel for young readers set during the First World War. Her previous books include Goddess, based on the remarkable life of the seventeenth century French swordswoman and opera singer, Julie d’Aubigny. Kelly’s historical novels for young adults include The Sultan’s Eyes and Act of Faith, set during the time of the English Civil Wars and the Inquisition. Both books were shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Her books for younger readers are the ‘Swashbuckler’ adventure trilogy Ocean Without End, The Pirate’s Revenge and The Silver Swan – set in Malta during the Napoleonic invasion, and a picture book, Billabong Bill’s Bushfire Christmas. Kelly has worked on newspapers, magazines and websites, and her articles, poems, book reviews and travel writing have appeared in journals, magazines and newspapers as diverse as ‘The New York Times’, ‘Marie Claire’, ‘New Idea’, and ‘Going Down Swinging’. She works at the State Library of Victoria and teaches creative writing at La Trobe University. Kelly is also the co-host of Unladylike, a podcast on women and writing. And, of course, is the host of HNSA's Imagining the Past podcast series. 

You can connect with Kelly via Twitter and Facebook. Links to purchase her books are available at her website.


The war in France rages in the skies, and support for the war in Australia turns cold. Alex flies high above the trenches of the Western Front, while a world away his sister Maggie finds herself in the midst of political upheaval. Somehow, both must find the courage to fight on.
1917 is the fourth in Scholastic’s ‘Australia’s Great War’ series, commemorating the centenary of the First World War. It is written for readers nine and up.

HNSA 2017 Conference

Kelly Gardiner and Catherine Padmore will be appearing in our academic programme: 'Bio-Fiction: Can you Defame the Dead?' at HNSA 2017 on Saturday 9 September with Kate Forsyth, Ariella van Luyn and Gabrielle Ryan. The session is included in the price of a full weekend or day ticket but seating is limited so please reserve your seat. Our second academic panel is 'The Lie of History: How the Mirror of the Present shapes the Past for its own Purposes' on Sunday 10 September with Wendy J Dunn, Diane Murray, Glenice Whitting, Cheryl Hayden and Gillian Polack followed by a discussion between Prof Josie Arnold and Christopher Raja.

Kelly is also conducting a workshop on Scrivener for Beginners. Cost is $20 once a full weekend or day ticket is purchased. Purchase of a workshop ticket entitles the attendee entry into a draw to win a $100 Dymocks Gift Card. You can find out more about our suite of workshops at our website. 

The HNSA 2017 Melbourne Conference is being held on 8-10 September 2017 at Swinburne University. This celebration of the historical fiction genre will showcase over 60 speakers discussing inspiration, writing craft, research, publishing pathways and personal histories in our weekend programme. Among the many acclaimed historical novelists participating are Kerry Greenwood, Kate Forsyth, Deborah Challinor, Libby Hathorn, Lucy Treloar, Sophie Masson, Sulari Gentill, Robert Gott and Arnold Zable. The HNSA’s speakers’ list is available on the HNSA website.

In addition to the two stream weekend programme, there will be ten craft based super sessions and two research masterclasses.You won’t want to miss our interactive sessions on armour and historical costumes either! Purchase a ticket and you will be entered in the draw to win a $100 Dymocks Gift Card.


Our First Pages Pitch Contest offers an opportunity for submissions to be read aloud to a panel of publishers. And we are delighted to announce the introduction of our inaugural HNSA Short Story Contest with a $500 prize!




Let’s make a noise about historical fiction!


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