If you are a young writer between the ages of 11 and 19 ….

….you might like to try using history as a starting point for your creative writing.

Imagining History UK is the only creative writing project for teenagers in the UK who want to explore or develop an interest in writing using historical detail as source material.

Our programme of workshops – Adventures in Time Travel – is excellent for writers who might also be thinking of studying Humanities at University. The writing of historical fiction, and the exploration of historical places opens you up to thinking about history, geography, social sciences, literature, creative writing and many, many more subjects and career choices besides.

Our workshops are based on five principles:

  • your ideas come best when your body is active,
  • you learn new things most effectively when your curiosity level is high,
  • the real-life world holds unlimited treasure for your writer’s mind,
  • you need time to allow writing ideas to grow satisfyingly,
  • your inspiration can come suddenly, if the time and space are right.

IHUK Workshops are immersive and 4-dimensional. Time spent exploring your creative inspiration in this way is like stretching and deepening the space around you. You see more detail that can use to write your stories.

The workshops are designed and led by professional writers, arts educators and historians. You go on a journey of discovery, not only into the historical world you find yourself in, but also into the even richer world of your own thinking and creativity.

We share with you our method of making sense of the historical environment, the world of objects you find there, and the ways that historical details will weave themselves under your skin and into your writing.

We encourage you to speculate – to use fiction as a way of getting under the surface of events, people and places, and to begin to develop your individual and creative take on historical worlds. Once this happens your ideas take over.

Who knows where you might end up – your imagination has no limits!

At the end of a workshop you will have a notebook full of ideas, real-life real-time observations and inspirations, and most importantly new ways of thinking them through to develop a story. You might even find a totally new direction to go in. It is now all up to you….

And you might think of this…

The Young Walter Scott Prize is the UK’s only competition for young adults writing Historical Fiction. If you enter, you stand a chance of winning a top prize of a £500 travel bursary to help you continue your creative voyage of discovery. We publish all the shortlisted entries and every single entry receives feedback from our team of judges, which is made up of agents, publishers and writers.

Imagining History UK and the Young Walter Scott Prize are a family. They work together to open your creative horizons in as many ways as we can.

Read on through this website for more information on who we are, what we offer and why we do what we do. If there isn’t a workshop happening near you yet, perhaps you could try to persuade your adults to help you set one up. We’re always open to new ideas.

The Imagining History Programme UK is ready to help you in any way we can.

During the time of Covid19 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…..

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