Organising Committee

Margaret Skea

Conference / Programme Co-ordinator


Twitter: @margaretskea1

Margaret is an award-winning author of both short stories and historical novels. Passionate about authenticity in historical fiction, her 16th century Scottish series, which opens with Turn of the Tide is set against the background of the long-running clan feud, known as The Ayrshire Vendetta, but the action isn’t confined to Scotland. Her latest novel, Katharina: Deliverance is biographical fiction, and is the first of two novels based on the life of Katharina von Bora, Martin Luther’s wife. Born and bred in Ulster, Margaret has lived in Scotland since her university days.

Lorna Fraser

Programme Advisor / Excursions Co-ordinator

LORNA FRASER lives in Bo'ness, Scotland. She has a degree in History and a Masters in Business Administration. Her anthology 'ill divided world & other stories' was published in January 2017. She is currently writing a series of alpine themed novels set in the first half of the 20th century. 

Dee Swift

Short Story Competition Co-ordinator

Deborah Swift used to work in television and is the author of seven historical novels, including two for young adults. She has an MA in Creative Writing and runs classes and courses in writing from her home near the beautiful Lake District. Deborah has eclectic reading tastes and reads everything from the cereal packets on the breakfast table to Booker Prize winners. She is very much looking forward to reading the entries for the HNS Short Story Competition.

Derek Birks

‘Meet and Greet’

Author biography: 

Derek was born in Hampshire in England but spent his teenage years in Auckland, New Zealand, where he still has strong family ties. On his return to England, after eight years abroad, he read history at Reading University. 

In 2010 Derek took early retirement from his teaching career to concentrate on writing. He aims to write action-packed fiction, rooted in accurate history. Though he is interested in everything historical, his particular favourite is the late medieval period. His 4-book series, entitled Rebels and Brothers, is set during the Wars of the Roses and he has now embarked on another Wars of the Roses series: The Craft of Kings. 

Louise Turner

Short Story Competition / Break-outs and One-to-Ones

Louise Turner combines writing fiction with a professional role in commercial archaeology. She has penned two historical novels to date, Fire & Sword and The Gryphon at Bay: both are set in late fifteenth century Scotland and published by US small press Hadley Rille Books.