Researching and Writing Literary Historical Fiction

Open Seats


Regular $296.00
Member $266.40
September 21, 2023 - November 9, 2023
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Open to All Levels
Online—Zoom Classroom
Number of Sessions
Day of the Week
8 Week
Class Fiction Genre Rectangle

Nothing in literature is more contemporary than historical fiction. From critical hits like Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings to a surge in ancient mythological retellings à la Madeline Miller’s Circe, more literary writers than ever are making meaning of the current world through history. But what does a work of historical fiction require, both practically, and philosophically, from its author? (Hint: you don’t need a classics degree!)

In this class, students will practice techniques for incorporating research into fiction, and bolster their research skills by learning the practicalities of things like introduction letters, inquiries to professionals and academics, and the ins and outs of writing research grant applications.

At the end of eight weeks, students will have contemplated big questions in historical fiction (Who has authority to research and tell a story that has been neglected by history? How do you write when the archeological record is muddled by bad documentation or propaganda? When do you make the jump from fact into imaginings?)—as well as delved deeply into longform historical fiction projects of their own. In addition to workshop, students should expect to do generative exercises for their projects, and work on creating an organized research folio.

Instructions for Accessing This Online Class

In order to access live class meetings, you must have the Zoom application downloaded to your computer. You will also need a WiFi/Internet connection throughout the duration of your scheduled meeting and a computer with audio and video capability. The information to join your Zoom classroom will be provided in your confirmation email upon registration. Please check spam folders if you do not see this email upon registration. For more information on how to use Zoom, please see our training manual here.

Some classes use a supplemental Google Classroom page. Should your teaching artist use Google Classroom, you will be invited to join the classroom via email at least 24 hours in advance of your class (check spam folders if you are not seeing this invitation). Please note that Google Classroom requires a Gmail address to access the Classroom. If you do not have a Gmail account, the email invitation will be sent to the email address we have on file and will prompt you to create a free account or enter an existing account to join the classroom. If we are unable to send an email invitation to your non-gmail account, you will be contacted by a staff member to provide a Gmail address. If you do not have a Gmail account, you can create a free account here. Should you have concerns about this, please contact a Loft staff member at or 612-379-8999. For more information on how to use Google Classroom, please see our training manual here.