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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’s acclaimed memoir, Fury, appeared in May 2021. Her novels include 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.

Kathryn Heyman received the Wingate award for outstanding historical research (for The Accomplice). Her other historical works include Captain Starlight’s Apprentice (Inspired by the bushranger Jessie Elizabeth Hickman) which was adapted into a ten part radio serial for the BBC, with an audience of over two million. For the BBC she also wrote Moonlite’s Boy, using the letters and journals of the bushranger ‘Captain Moonlite’.

Kathryn Heyman taught Creative Writing at the University of Oxford and is now the director of the Australian Writers Mentoring Program. For further information:





22 October 2021
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
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