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Research & The Novel
$45.00 – $100.00
This course is part of our 2021 Spectacular Summer Seminar Festival (SSSF) and will be held via Crowdcast. The fees from ABC’s adult writing workshops subsidize our free writing programs for kids, whose work is collected in a yearly anthology, and pay our adult workshop instructors. A limited number of seats in each class are reserved for scholarships, which cover 100% of tuition-fees and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. All are welcome, and we especially encourage BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ writers to apply.
What is the interplay between research and writing a novel? Do you research before you write? Or can you write and research simultaneously? When do you know you’ve completed enough research to fictionalize a specific world? Whether you’re writing historical or contemporary fiction, often a significant amount of research can go into imagined characters and landscapes.
Based on her experience of writing her debut novel, The Elephant of Belfast, S. Kirk Walsh will share her process of researching and writing this novel, which included travel to Belfast, interviewing Blitz survivors, research with the elephants at the Houston Zoo, and working with a historian who specialized in this time period. In addition, Walsh will share her path to publication, and what it has been like to publish her debut novel during the pandemic.
Students who register with the Seminar + Book option before June 4th will receive a signed copy of The Elephant of Belfast. (Those who select this option after June 4th will still receive a signed copy of the novel, but we cannot guarantee it will arrive before the seminar date.) Students are encouraged to read the novel prior to the seminar as a part of the discussion of the research/writing process, though it is not required.
This Austin Bat Cave adult writing seminar is open to writers of all levels and will be recorded.
About the Instructor
S. Kirk Walsh
S. Kirk Walsh is a novelist, editor, and teacher based in Austin, Texas. Her debut novel, The Elephant of Belfast, inspired by true events that took place in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during World War II, was published by Counterpoint Press in April 2021. Her novel has generated praise from The New Yorker, The Christian Science Monitor, as well as other publications. The novel was published as The Zookeeper of Belfast by Hodder/Hachette (the UK, the Commonwealth, and Ireland) in April 2021 (and forthcoming in September 2021), and will be translated for foreign editions in Romania and Norway. Walsh is now working on second novel inspired by events that took place in Detroit during the 1930s and 1940s. She is the founder of Austin Bat Cave. Learn more at skirkwalsh.com.