Historical Novel Society Australasia 2021 Virtual Conference
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Bring Your Research to Life: Making Fiction from Historical Truth with Kathryn Heyman
22 October 2021 | 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Humans seek meaning from the past, and we are hardwired to find that meaning through story. In this masterclass, award-winning novelist and memoirist Kathryn Heyman (Captain Starlight’s Apprentice, Fury) helps you take research and turn it into a work of art. Whether you’re working on a novel inspired by true events, or setting an entirely imagined story in the past, you’ll discover how to find the right voice for your work, how to create compelling scenes, how to find the drama in the truth.
Using a mixture of example, discussion and carefully selected exercises, developed over almost two decades of coaching writers, Kathryn Heyman will help you discover the truth of your story. You’ll leave with a clear sense of how to get to the core of your idea and how to bring your research to life. We’ll discover what questions to ask in your research, how to infuse research with life and – crucially – when to let it go. You’ll finish the workshop with a much clearer sense of what you need to do to make your novel sing.
This workshop will not be recorded.
About Kathryn Heyman
Kathryn Heyman is a novelist, essayist and scriptwriter. Her memoir, Fury, appeared in May 2021. Her sixth novel, Storm and Grace, was published in 2017. Her first novel, The Breaking, was shortlisted for the Stakis Award for the Scottish Writer of the Year and longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her other awards include an Arts Council of England Writers Award, the Wingate and the Southern Arts Awards, and nominations for the Edinburgh Fringe Critics’ Awards, the Kibble Prize, and the West Australian Premier’s Book Awards. Reviewers have compared her work to that of Cormac McCarthy, Kate Grenville, Angela Carter, Peter Carey, William Golding and Joseph Conrad.
Raised in Australia, Heyman spent many years living in the UK, where she began her publishing career after studying at Sheffield Hallam University, under the tutelage of the Caribbean poet E.A Markham. She has judged several literary awards, including serving as the senior judge for all panels of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, for whom she delivered the keynote address on the eve of the Sydney Writers Festival in 2013. She is a member of the Folio Prize Academy. For further information: