Creative fieldwork for passionate young writers. 

Our InRealLife programme for the academic year 2019/20 is now on hold because of Covid19.

If you are a young writer 15 years and older we have an extra-special offer for you. It is called Times Shifting. It is a month long online, mentored writing project looking at how to build a historical archive of current events, and then to begin to write a piece of Imagined Historical Fiction written from a point of view in the future and telling a story of now.

You can do this! It sounds complicated, but actually your brain will work it out pretty quickly. Then your imagination will nail it. Truth is stranger than fiction they say! Just look around the world and see how true this really is…..

Imagining History UK IRL workshops will be back on the ground, we hope, in the autumn.

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“I was surprised how much I could be influenced by these facts – that I was able to come up with my own story…”*

The Imagining History Programme UK  is the education and outreach arm of The Young Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. The aim of  both IHUK and YWSP is to introduce young writers to the limitless world of Historical Fiction. Merging physical exploration with innovative thought journeys, the historical environment becomes a source of new ideas, genuine personal discovery and creative satisfaction for young adult minds.

Why write historical fiction?

…historical fiction is a close relative of history… We write historical fiction, and read it, not to learn about history so much as to live it. It is the closest we can get to experiencing the past without having been there. We finish a history and think “So that’s what happened!”

We finish a work of historical fiction, catch our breath, and think “So that’s what it was like!”

 H Scott Dalton What is Historical Fiction? 

Increasingly, academic historians are underlining the value of well-researched and well-written Historical Fiction. Dr Dina Gusejnova, Assistant Professor in International History at the LSE in London, who works with us to devise and develop our workshop programme, writes:

…what you have developed is truly an eye-opening approach to history. The special value of the YWSP workshops consists in the fact that each case is tailored to the particular location and community.

If you are a young writer, read on here for an introduction more detailed breakdown to what to expect from an Imagining History UK workshop.

If you would like to know more about our history, vision and programmes, start your journey here. 

“I had some great ideas about history which I don’t often get. I really wanted to finish my story…”*

*feedback quotes from previous IHUK workshop participants