Writers’ Resources

The first (best) advice to any writer is that they should write. Don’t think about it, talk about, fret about it, just do it.

That said, though, other stuff can help. Mentors. Advice. Second opinions. ‘Professionals’. Experience.

Here’s some of the stuff that we think helps for historical fiction. This is a formative list, which we will be adding to as we find new resources. If you feel your details should be on it, please write to us – and please help promote the HNS International Award to any writers you meet!

Free stuff: Authors talking about writing

Writing Your Best Seller. (Bernard Cornwell)
Masterclass – Ken Follett
Methods of researchElizabeth Chadwick

Writing courses, clubs, magazines and media

Most of this you have to pay for, though most writing groups are inexpensive. It is not an exhaustive list. Sadly few of these resources are aimed specifically at historical fiction.

Writers’ News (UK print magazines and site – https://www.writers-online.co.uk/) lists events, competitions, courses, writing groups (including those that specify historicals).

Writers’ Workshop (UK writing courses and festival, with website writersworkshop.co.uk) has some excellent advice about agents etc on their website, and a great festival.

The New Writer magazine: ‘quirky, clever, original and accessible’, with great competitions and lots of information about the literary scene.


Script doctors/editorial help

This is a list compiled from a Facebook question we posted: so all these people have genuinely helped members of the society towards publication of historical fiction. They are not affiliated to the society in any way, and have not paid to get their names here.

Allison McCabe

Victoria Mixon

Lorin Oberweger

Janice Hussein

Michael Denneny

Helen Corner

Rebecca Swift

Hilary Johnson

Maureen Brady


Society members who offer editorial services

Donna Russo Morin

Heather Webb

Jenny Quinlan

Cindy Valar

Darlene Elizabeth Williams

Guides to writing historical fiction

The print version of Historical Fiction Writing by Myfanwy Cook is offered here to HNS members at cost. Assisted by medieval mystery author Bernard Knight, and featuring tips from many eminent historical fiction writers, Myfanwy – features editor for the HNR – has compiled a practical guide to help new authors realise their dreams.
The revised Kindle edition will be available in the Autumn.
Historical Fiction Writing- A practical guide and toolkit

Persia Woolley – How to Write and Sell Historical Fiction

Marina Oliver – Writing Historical Fiction