Fundamental STEPS to Writing Historical Fiction 2018

October 28 - 31, 2018

Give your historical fiction a strong start by learning the fundamentals of this popular genre.

Are you writing a novel where a historical event or historical figure plays a main role? This workshop is designed to help you finish or revise your historical novel with five thoughtful steps. Using the acronym STEPS, award-winning historical fiction author Joyce Moyer Hostetter will introduce the basics of writing historical fiction.

Together, you’ll explore:

Story: Finding stories embedded in history and embedding history into our stories.

Time: Allowing the historical era to shape characters, dialogue, actions, and more.

Experts: Seeking insight from archivists, specialists, eyewitnesses, and survivors.

Place: Infusing the story with a sense of locality and culture.

Sources: Researching history and documenting resources.

You will learn about market trends and expectations from an editor and will hear from guest authors about their research experiences and publishing journeys. Joyce will also meet one-on-one with you to explore your ambitions for writing history and give feedback on your work. There will be an opportunity to explore the submission process as well.

Faculty blog posts:
Joyce Hostetter–Beginning STEPS to Writing Historical Fiction

Preliminary schedule:
Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: Introduction and Welcome

Finding stories embedded in history & embedding history into our stories
Allowing the historical era to shape characters, dialogue, actions & more

Free Writing Time
One-to-ones with Joyce (20 minute sessions with each student)
Finding Experts–Skype session with Carol Baldwin

Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: S’mores on the patio and book signing

Special guest lecture, Julie Chibarro
Infusing the story with a sense of locality and culture

Writing exercise
Free Writing Time
Revision check-ins
Editor Q/A with Carolyn Yoder

Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: Book signing with Julie

Researching history and documenting resources
Writing exercise and sharing pages
Final words, questions, reflections, goals

Optional tour of Highlights magazine and Boyds Mills Press


Joyce Hostetter

Joyce Hostetter’s historical novels have been applauded for their rich language, southern atmosphere, precise tone, and believable situations. Joyce knows…
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Julie Chibarro

Julie Chibbaro is the award-winning author of three historical novels: Into the Dangerous World  (Viking, 2015), Deadly (Simon & Schuster 2011,…
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Carol Baldwin

Carol Baldwin’s most recent book is Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8 (Maupin House, 2008). She is working…
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Carolyn P. Yoder

Carolyn is currently senior editor of Calkins Creek Books—the U.S. history imprint of Boyds Mills Press. Calkins Creek specializes in…
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Lila Quintero Weaver

Lila Quintero Weaver is the author of a children’s novel, My Year in the Middle (Candlewick Press, 2018). Previously, she…
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All-Inclusive Event Cost: $999.00

All-inclusive means we provide transportation to and from the airport, lodging and all meals.

workshop information

Begins on Sunday, October 28, with dinner; ends on Wednesday, October 31 with lunch, followed by an optional tour of Highlights for Children and Boyds Mills Press.