Historical Fiction Workshop with Stephanie Storey


Historical Fiction is rife with opportunities for writers—fascinating stories, characters, customs, art, language, food—but those same advantages can quickly become disadvantages: research can bog down story, archaic language can stall character development, actual historical events can derail plot. In short, fact can get in the way of your fiction.

Taught by a successful historical novelist (Stephanie Storey, author of Oil and Marble, a Los Angeles Times bestseller), this workshop will give students the skills to navigate the tricky waters of historical fiction. Participants will learn helpful research techniques (how to choose reliable sources, organize research, and track down obscure information), how to show the history without devolving into a boring lecture, and the specific quirks of publishing a historical novel. We will also discuss other issues, including how to make necessary cuts in the research to keep the story moving, how to deal with dialects and anachronisms, how to integrate fictional characters with real-life historical figures, and how much artistic license writers should take with history to tell a compelling story.

We will also spend time discussing short (5-6 page) submissions of 2 BWW writers’ historical fiction work. If you’re interesting in potentially having your work included, please contact BWW host Michael Freed-Thall by July 1st via the contact form: http://burlingtonwritersworkshop.com/contact-2/. No written feedback will be required.

This class is not only helpful for those writing traditional historical fiction, but also for writers of creative non-fiction, memoir, or any fiction that requires research.

More about Stephanie Storey

Stephanie Storey is novelist and speaker. Her debut novel, Oil and Marble: a novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo (Arcade Publishing) was released on March 1, 2016 and quickly became a Los Angeles Times bestseller. The New York Times called it “tremendously entertaining” and compared her to Irving Stone, the writer of such classics as The Agony and the Ecstasy. Hudson Booksellers also named Oil and Marble as one of the Best Books of 2016. Storey is also an award-winning national television producer for shows like Tavis Smiley on PBS, The Arsenio Hall Show for CBS, and The Writers’ Room for the Sundance Channel. She has her degree in Fine Arts from Vanderbilt University and attended a PhD program in Art History—before leaving to get her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She has studied art in Italy and been on a pilgrimage to see every Michelangelo on display in Europe. When not writing novels or giving speeches, she can usually be found traveling the world—with her husband, an actor and Emmy-winning comedy writer—in search of her next story.

Learn more about Stephanie: https://stephaniestorey.wordpress.com/

BWW host: Michael Freed-Thall