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Chat Salon: Words in Time – Using Authentic Historical Vocabulary with Kim Kelly
1 July 2023 | 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
The magic of historical fiction is its ability to transport the reader through time, bringing the past to vivid life. But no matter how rich and extensive the writer’s research of events, food and fashion, the spell can be broken by language that feels out of time. How would your characters have cursed? ‘Gad Zukes’ or ‘bleeding heck’? What phrases might they have used to express romantic love? ‘Honey pie’ or ‘sugar lumps’? How did they say hello and fare thee well? ‘Yoohoo’ and ‘cheerio’? Words change meaning over time, too. Having ‘hot pudding for supper’ might have been a family affair in 1950s suburban Sydney, but in the backstreets of 1890s London, it meant quite another thing. Finding the right words and phrases – and using them well – can give your work that extra sparkle of authenticity. But how do we research these details? And how can we strike a balance between historical accuracy and current-day comprehensibility? Join author and editor Kim Kelly for what’s sure to be a lively chat about awkward anachronisms and etymological fossicking. She’ll be sharing stories of her own blunders and many tips on how you can rescue yourself from your own.
About Kim Kelly
Kim Kelly is the author of twelve novels. Among them are the bestselling The Blue Mile and critically acclaimed Wild Chicory. Her latest, The Rat Catcher: A Love Story, was longlisted for the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize. Kim is also a well-known book editor. She has a Master of Creative Writing from Macquarie University, for which she was awarded the Fred Rush Convocation Prize for writing and literature, and she is currently in the early stages of PhD research into Australian historical fiction. Originally from Sydney, Kim now lives in central west NSW, on Wiradjuri Country.
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