Short Courses

Historical Fiction Writing: Making Your World Real

What makes historical fiction feel ‘real’? Join Michelle Elvy, a writer and editor from New Zealand, for a beginner’s course in writing historical fiction. You will discuss and participate in exercises with a focus on building historical worlds, including character, setting, mood, place and space.

You will also be introduced to works from other writers,read many kinds of historical fiction and share your written stories in class.

The course will cover topics such as establishing character and place, building the world slowly, creating a believable voice, the relationship between the concept of the world and the details that are placed there. The course aims to strengthen your writing by focusing on the play between ‘getting the details right’ and the significant concepts that underpin any world we write.

About the trainer
Michelle Elvy is an accomplished writer, editor, and once-upon-a-time historian based in Dunedin, New Zealand. She shares her expertise as an online instructor at 52|250 A Year of Writing and contributes to the literary community as the editor of Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction and the chair of New Zealand's National Flash Fiction Day. Additionally, Michelle serves as the reviews editor for Landfall, the oldest literary journal in NZ. 

Her widely published and anthologised works encompass stories, poetry, travel writing, and reviews. Notable among her literary achievements are the books the everrumble (2019) and the other side of better (2021), as well as anthologies like ’Bonsai: Best small stories of Aotearoa New Zealand’ (2018) and ‘Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand’ (2020). She is currently working alongside  Ihimaera on ‘Love in the Time of COVID: A Chronicle of a Pandemic’, a forthcoming anthology scheduled for 2023 featuring voices from around the world.

Note: Course trainers are, on occasion, subject to change with short notice.



No. of classes Days Dates Time
6 Every Sat 8 Jul – 12 Aug 2023 10:00am – 12:00pm

Application Information

Course materials

Laptop and writing materials.

Who should attend

Art and language students, prospective art students, art enthusiasts, teachers  and/or anyone interested in historical fiction.

Eligible schemes / subsidies:
Claimable under SkillsFuture Credit
National Silver Academy (NSA) subsidy


Note: Course fee not inclusive of application fee and GST.

(after National Silver Academy (NSA) subsidy)

Note: NSA fee is inclusive of GST.