Current Programme

Being able to see inside a life amazed me and made me more curious.’,

Our InRealLife programme for the academic year 2019/20 is now on hold because of COVID19.

We are researching and developing ideas that bring together our approach to writing, the knowledge that a writer can gain through understanding themselves as writers and different ways of understanding historical events and places – even if we can’t yet visit them in real life.

The first of these projects is called Times Shifting and is an important and innovative response to the current overwhelming events of Covid19 and the international adaptation to it.

Times Shifting is focused on writing a piece of Imagined Historical Fiction – a piece of writing from a point of view in an imagined future looking back at these times of historic change. Writers collect and archive all kinds of observations, snippets from news, memes, photos etc, and share their impressions of what it is like to live in this world now. By doing this, a historical archive of everyday life is built in a series of time capsules. Using their writer’s mind, participants then transport themselves to the future and look back at now.

It is co-led by our Historical Adviser, Dr Dina Gusejnova Assistant Professor in International History at LSE University of London. Excellent historical fiction is grounded in real events. Dina’s guidance makes sure that writers on Times Shifting keep their focus on the way History is moving through every day of our lives right now.

IHUK is inspired by Sir Walter Scott, who wrote Waverley, or ’tis sixty years since as an imagined historical exploration of the 1745 uprising in his native Scotland. He wanted his readers to realise both the good and the bad inherent in historical events. He based his writing on what he was able to glean from those who had lived through the momentous events of those past years.

Read more here

Boughton Journey will use images from the last 4 years of real-life workshops as the starting point for taking teenage writers into the deep and extensive worlds of their own imaginations.

These workshops will have a live online and a web-based component. They will include audio and visual content, guided creative writing tasks and thinking/exploration games. Our work is created by a collaboration between academic history, skills-development in creative writing, art history and a unique approach that awakens the writer’s body-mind at the heart of their writing.

If you are a creative writer, or a historian, or both, writing Historical Fiction is an excellent way of getting under the skin of people in history. Through your research and your thinking about relationships, your knowledge of a chosen historical period grows and deepens.

Try out some of our writing ideas on our Just Write! page.

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