Writing the Past: Creating Historical Fiction

131 TUTOR: Deborah Swift

Historical fiction, whether mystery, thriller, romance or biography can be an enthralling escape into another world. Learn to craft fiction set in the past, with the help of the tutor who is a best-selling author. This course will include a hands-on writing session every day, with historical sources designed to inspire you. Starting from scratch, you will have the opportunity to put pen to paper and find out where the worlds of your imagination and the historical reality can meet. If you've never written anything before, don't worry. The emphasis of this course is on exploring possibilities and enjoying writing.


4 PM
PM course

Course Notes


This course is designed to give you an insight into how a historical novel or story is built up through research and imagination. Tips will be given into how to craft believable characters true to their era, how to use real-life events in your plot, and what a reader needs from your setting in order to imagine the past. Expect to try these ideas out by writing your own pieces of history.

Historical fiction is considered by publishers to be anything set more than 50 years ago, (still in living memory) and as far back as the stone age, so there is plenty of scope! You will be expected to read and listen to some source material, so please bring your reading glasses if you need them.

You will also need a pen and plenty of paper, or your own charged laptop if you prefer to type. If you have a non-fiction book about an era you are particularly interested in, please bring it, but this is not obligatory. It is fine to arrive with no fixed idea, just an interest in the past and an open mind.


Course Tutor

Deborah Swift

About Deborah

Deborah Swift is a bestselling author who is passionate about the past. She has written sixteen historical novels so far ranging from the early 20th Century to The English Civil War. Deborah used to be a costume designer for the BBC, before becoming a writer. After taking a Masters Degree in Creative Writing, she now enjoys mentoring aspiring novelists through The History Quill organisation and has an award-winning historical fiction blog at her website www.deborahswift.comRecent books include The Poison Keeper, about the Renaissance poisoner Giulia Tofana, which was a winner of the Wishing Shelf Readers Award, and The Cipher Roomset in WW2.  Deborah has been teaching Tai Chi for over 30 years and is an advanced instructor with the Tai Chi Union for Great Britian.  www.lakestaichi.org

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul

WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul

WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul

WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM