Monday evening, 25 November:
1. Conversation: Meet and Greet. In this session, I will introduce myself and talk about my researching/writing journey and will give away a free copy of Writing Interesting Family Histories. I will also invite you to briefly describe you own research and writing interests.
Tuesday, 26 November:
Mining overview: The following three seminars teach research fundamentals and reasoning strategies.
2. Seminar: How to become a skilled historical detective. In this seminar I discuss the principles and practices that all researchers like yourself need to know in order to achieve the maximum benefit from your research endeavours: for example, the distinction between primary/secondary-source records and primary/secondary-source information; the confusion caused by errors in original records; and how our natures influence our interpretation of information.
3. Seminar: Help! Which information is correct? Strategies for determining historical truth. In these days of information overload, you may struggle to know how to separate fact from fantasy. In this seminar I provide a dozen reasoning strategies you can apply to your own research endeavours—or even to everyday life.
4. Seminar: Solving the unsolvable. When I began the research for Captain Thunderbolt and his Lady, I was told that I’d never be able to discover the truth about Thunderbolt’s lover, Mary Ann Bugg, because she had fallen through the archival cracks. In this ‘journey of discovery’ seminar, I offer practical advice about solving ‘unsolvable’ puzzles using strategies covered in the previous two sessions.
5. Seminar: Structuring a family history or other work of non-fiction. In this seminar, I discuss basic structuring techniques, and offer guidelines for those of you writing family histories.
Wednesday, 27 November:
Refining overview: The principles of good writing are the same whether the subject is fiction or nonfiction. In these three workshops, I provide writing insights and offer you the chance to gain some practical writing experience.
6. Workshop: Crafting a good book. In the same way that researchers need to understand research fundamentals, writers need to understand writing fundamentals. In this workshop, I discuss some of the tools found in a writer’s toolbox, including authorial voice, narrative voice, style, tone, person and story-telling.
7. Workshop: Gripping writing. In this workshop, I show you how to use historical context, action, dramatic tension, dialogue and description to engage your readers.
8. Workshop: Sensory writing. Writing comes to life when we draw upon our senses. In this workshop, I show you how to use words—in particular, sensory images—to draw your readers in.
9. Seminar: Publishing options. My own works have been published in the mainstream, niche and self-publishing arenas as well as in journals, websites and ebooks. This seminar covers all of these publishing options.