2337 Historical Fiction with Shona MacLean and Andrew Miller, Guest Reader Vicky MacKenzie

2337 Historical Fiction with Shona MacLean and Andrew Miller, Guest Reader Vicky MacKenzie

Date(s) - Mon 11th Sep - Sat 16th Sep, 2023
All Day

Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire , IV4 7HT

Writing Historical Fiction: At Home in Strange Rooms 

Led by Shona MacLean and Andrew Miller, this course will look at how to create a persuasive sense of historical place, literal and psychological; creating engaging characters who will operate convincingly in that place; dialogue, dialect and historical voice; approaches to research and how to filter historical detail for the ends of your story. Workshops will be supported by use of visual and contemporary textual sources and discussion of examples of best practice. One-to-one tutorials offer the chance for a discussion of your own work, ideas, or refining your work in progress.   

Please note, this course invites you to present an optional pre-course submission of work up to 1000-2000 words and one page synopsis to allow Andrew and Shona to gain an insight into your work ahead of the week.

Shona (S.G.) MacLean was born in Inverness and brought up in the Highlands, where her parents were hoteliers. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Aberdeen. She is the author of both the Alexander Seaton and the Damian Seeker series of historical crime. Her first novel was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book award and she has twice won the Crime Writers’ Association Historical Dagger. Her latest novel is the standalone The Bookseller of Inverness.

Andrew Miller is the author of nine novels from Ingenious Pain (1997) to The Slowworm’s Song (2022). He teaches on the writing MA at Teesside University and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Vicky MacKenzie is a fiction writer and poet based in Scotland. Her debut novel For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain (Bloomsbury, 2023) explored the lives of the medieval mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. She has won a number of writing prizes including a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and the Emerging Writer Award from Moniack Mhor, and has been awarded writing residencies in Scotland, Finland and Australia. Her second novel, Brantwood, about the Victorian art critic John Ruskin, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2025.


The full fee for this course is £650. This includes your accommodation in a single room with shared bathroom, all meals, hot drinks and snacks from Monday afternoon until Saturday morning, and your tuition. For more information about the practicalities of our courses and retreats, please visit our About the Courses page.

A limited number of en-suite rooms are available for a £50 surcharge, and a limited number of Twin Room places are available at a discounted price of £600 per person. When booking a Twin Room place, please tell us in the comments box which gender you are and which gender(s) you are comfortable sharing a room with. This information will remain confidential.

A deposit is required to secure your place, which is non-refundable after a 14-day cooling-off period. The balance payment of £500 is due six weeks before the course begins. If you would like to pay the full amount earlier than this or at the point of booking, please call our booking office on 01463 592 828 or email info@moniackmhor.org.uk.

Please let us know if you have any access requirements, for example a ground floor bedroom and / or access to a wheelchair-accessible shower room. For more information about access to our courses, please visit our Access page.

On this course, tutors will read a sample of your work ahead of time to get a feel for your work. Details of how and when to submit this will be sent to you in the course notes upon booking.


This event is fully booked. Please email info@moniackmhor.org.uk to be added to the waiting list.

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