Explore historical worlds and characters through creative writing
Read the course outline (PDF)
This four-week course, inspired by our exhibition Elizabeth and Mary: Royal Cousins, Rival Queens, will explore the skills you need to write historical fiction. From effective research to the challenge of building characters based on real historical figures, the course will equip you with the tools required to plan and write a historical novel.
Each session will include writing exercises, practical advice, and some analysis of primary sources or historical fiction writing. We will focus mainly, though not exclusively, on books set in the Tudor period, from Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy to Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet, as well as digitised archive material from the British Library collections.
You’ll explore how writers find a balance between research and story, how to use language that sounds authentic and avoids cliché, how to structure a compelling plot, and fresh ways to write about well-known events.
This course will challenge your assumptions about the Tudor period. We’ll consider the work of historians like Imtiaz Habib, Miranda Kaufmann, Onyeka Nubia and Michael Ohajuru, whose books and projects demonstrate the true diversity of Tudor Britain. We’ll look at the opportunities for creating a historical world that accurately reflects the times, and the ethics of writing outside of your own experience.
Led by historical fiction author, Kate Morrison, with guest speakers Rex Obano and Bernice L McFadden, this course will suit anyone considering writing a historical novel, from more experienced writers to those just embarking on their creative journey.
This short course takes place on Zoom and the joining link will be emailed to you the day before. If you require the live-captioning service or a BSL interpreter please email email@example.com as soon as you have purchased your ticket.