Workshop structures

Imagining History develops working partnerships with:

  • venues
  • young writers
  • teachers and schools
  • festivals and arts organisations
  • museums

Our basic structure revolves around small groups of writers – either self-selecting, or nominated by teachers – coming out of a regular school day, accompanied by their teacher(s). Our thematic and practical content is under constant review and development, informed by discussions with teachers, parents (in the case of home-schooled students) and the young writers themselves. Read more about our partners and collaborators here.

Read more about our team of educators here

Each workshop or programme is given a title inspired by the venue or the material which has inspired the workshop in the first place.

Read more about our programme to date here.

One-Day Immersive

Our core structure, and the one that has been most frequently programmed, is a One-Day Immersive. It lasts from approx 10.30am until approx 2.30pm. During the workshop the writers are:

  • introduced to the venue/historical site
  • guided in a pattern of discovery
  • invited to create their own impressions of the place
  • given time to write on their own, guided by occasional writing tasks and narrative provocations
  • invited to share their writings/ideas/discoveries
  • given an introduction to the Young Walter Scott Prize

This structure has been taken up by schools who are interested in using our skills-base and the field-visit aspect to complement in-school learning in History, English Literacy and Communication Skills.

Four-Day Integrated programme

In 2018 we expanded this structure into a pattern of four one-day integrated immersive workshops over a two month period, with the summer holidays in between.  Start and end times of each are the same as a one-day immersive.

  • Day 1  In-school writing workshop led by a writer-educator
  • Day 2  Field visit #1, co-led by writer- and arts-educator
  • Day 3  Field visit #2, co-led by writer- and arts-educator
  • Day 4  In-school writing and presentation preparation, co-led by writer- and arts-educator

Each workshop looks at a different aspect of the researching, developing and writing of a piece of historical fiction.

In this model, we develop a hub school which hosts visiting students. The historical sites are within easy reach of each school.

This programme was developed in collaboration with two schools, the North Cornwall Book Festival and English Heritage. It culminated in a live presentation of excerpts at the Festival. This was the focusing event that attracted the schools to the project.

Read a blog entry about this project here.


We were invited by Norwich Castle and the Young Norfolk Arts Festival to develop a residency model around two special exhibitions in 2017 and 2018. The structure was aimed at Sixth-Form College and home-schooled. Two-hour workshops in a four-day sequence looked at different aspects of writing using the visual material to generate stories.

We replicated this structure also at Sutton Hoo over the course of a Spring Half-term 2017, and will repeat it in 2019 at the Museum of Norwich at The Bridewell in July 2019

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