Fundamental STEPS to Writing Historical Fiction 2018

About This Event

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

Cancellation Policy

100% deposit refund for cancellation 30+ days before event.
50% deposit refund for cancellation 15-29 days before event.
0% deposit refund for cancellation 0-14 days before event.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
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