Writing Historical Fiction

When: Tue, May 17, 2022, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM PDT
Where: Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6P 2N4
Cost: $15 or free for members

In this ninety-minute workshop, writers-in-residence Melanie Little and Peter Norman will share their experiences and insights as writers and editors of historical fiction and help you to dive—or dive deeper—into the writing and research of your own projects.

We’ll talk about how to write both what you know and what you don’t (yet) know. We’ll suggest ways to spark new ideas and ways to develop the ones you already have. We’ll talk about the tension between authenticity and artistry in the creation of voice, as well as about writing the Other and respecting cultural property and differences.

This session will include prompt-based writing exercises. Participants are welcome to bring in a historical object or photograph they’d like to write about; we’ll also provide a couple of options. But please do bring pen, paper, and a curious mind.

Portrait of C.E. Gatchalian

Melanie Little is an award-winning author and editor of fiction and non-fiction. Her debut collection of stories, Confidence, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award and selected as a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. Her historical novel-in-verse for young adults, The Apprentice’s Masterpiece, was a Canadian Library Association Honour Book, a gold medalist at the Independent Publisher Book Awards, and a White Raven selection for the International Youth Library in Munich.

She is currently finishing a novel that draws on her experiences as an editor, and is writing her second collection of short stories.

Portrait of C.E. Gatchalian

Peter Norman is the author of four poetry collections and a novel. His first book, At the Gates of the Theme Park, was a finalist for the Trillium Poetry Book Award, and his novel, Emberton, was longlisted for the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic.

His poems, essays, and short fiction have appeared in The Walrus, The Malahat Review, Pulp Literature, and numerous other periodicals and anthologies. He has been selected for two editions of the annual Best Canadian Poetry series and shortlisted twice for the Montreal Poetry Prize.