Join acclaimed and award winning author Bethan Roberts in this writing workshop exploring how research can kick-start your creative storytelling process.

Cover art of My Policeman by Bethan Roberts: three people swimming at the beach by the pier.How can we use historical research to create rich, fictional stories? Take part in this creative writing workshop led by Roberts as we consider the different ways research can bring a layer of authenticity to historical fiction stories. 

We will consider how primary sources and personal accounts such as letters, objects and images can be transformed into fiction. We will focus on how to successfully, and enjoyably, lean into the research process including how to decide as the author what to select to tie into your narrative and what to leave out. We will also consider the responsibilities of the writer who uses real lives, and the pitfalls of using research in fiction.

Hosted by Bethan Roberts, join this creative workshop to embrace the joy of discovery and the process of storytelling for writers of all abilities. Whether you are a seasoned novelist or just starting out on your wordsmithing journey, this workshop will encourage you to explore history’s role in shaping fictional worlds. Materials are provided by your tutor.

Portrait of Bethan Roberts. Image by Charlie Hopkinson
About Bethan Roberts

Bethan Roberts has published five novels and writes stories and drama for BBC Radio 4. Her books include The Good Plain Cook (Serpent’s Tail, 2008), which was a Radio 4 Book at Bedtime; My Policeman (Chatto & Windus, 2012)the story of a 1950s policeman, his wife, and his male lover (now an Amazon Original movie); and Mother Island (Chatto, 2014)which received a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. Her latest novel, Graceland, tells the story of Elvis Presley and his mother, Gladys. Bethan has taught Creative Writing at Chichester University and Goldsmiths College, London. She lives in Brighton with her family.


Writing Fiction from Real Life with Bethan Roberts is part of our Peggy Guggenheim: Petersfield to Palazzo events, supported using public funding by National Lottery through Arts Council England, a grant from the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund and by the Henry Moore Foundation.