Instructor: Marjan Kamali
Date & Time: Saturday, December 1 | 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Location: USM’s Glickman Family Library
12 FULL/WAIT LIST ONLY
Fee: Member: $50 | Nonmember: $105
Registration Closes: November 26
Historical fiction is a perennial favorite amongst readers, but writing effective stories set in the past leads to unique challenges as the writer crafts characters, plot, setting, and dialogue. How can writers create fiction that captures a specific time and place without lapsing into stereotypes or becoming reductive? How do they create a believable world set in a specific historical period without falling into the trap of giving a history lesson?
In this workshop, participants will learn to write historical fiction by focusing first on character-driven storytelling. The class will focus on creating a world strong enough to anchor the reader in the past without setting or politics overpowering the story. Characters’ authentic needs and choices must become the central driving force of participants’ historical fiction.
The workshop will begin with a discussion of successful historical fiction novels and stories. Participants will examine what makes them work, why they stay in the reader’s psyche, and why their characters feel real. The class will then explore specific strategies for research, world-building, dialogue and language, setting, plot, cultural tradition, and the development of authentic characters in historical fiction.
Next, attendees will generate and/or explore these main elements in their own work by using prompts and a few writing exercises. Everyone will leave with specific tools for how to create historical fiction that feels both intimate and universal.
Marjan Kamali’s debut novel Together Tea (EccoBooks/HarperCollins) was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, an NPR WBUR Good Read, and a Target Emerging Author Selection. Her second novel The Stationery Shop will be published by Gallery/Simon&Schuster in June 2019. Marjan graduated from U.C. Berkeley and earned an MBA from Columbia University and an MFA from NYU. Her short stories appear in the anthologies Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been and Tremors and her essays have been published in The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Her novel Together Tea has been translated into Italian, German, Norwegian, Czech, and Slovak and was recently adapted for the stage and performed in California. Marjan was born in Turkey to Iranian parents and grew up in seven countries across five continents. An excerpt from her upcoming second novel in Solstice Literary Magazine was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Marjan has taught writing at Boston University and currently teaches at GrubStreet, the nation’s largest creative writing center.
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The MWPA is proud to offer one full scholarship to this workshop for members-only. Scholarships are awarded on a combination of need and merit. Application Due in the MWPA office on November 19 at 9:00 a.m.
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