Queensland Writers Centre

Level 2, State Library of Queensland Stanley Place, Brisbane, QLD 4101

Brisbane, QLD, AU, 4101


with Melissa Ashley

Learn how to transform your research into unforgettable historical fiction. 

With Melissa Ashley, explore all types of sources and where to find them; learn ways of interpreting and understanding historical material; understand the lines between fiction, faction and history; and gain the tools to transform those sources to write effective characters and immersive settings and place.

Learning Outcomes

Through class discussions, close readings, and writing exercises, you will gain fundamental knowledge in the key areas listed below:

  • Locating, interpreting and creatively responding to visual sources

  • Tapping into your existing wealth of cultural knowledge

  • Identifying areas of expertise and gaps, asking the right questions

  • Utilising historical sources to create setting, character and scenes

  • Benefits of reading historical fiction for your genre

  • Finding and using digital and textual historical sources to develop your story and plot

  • Untangling knotty questions of interpretation for plotting and story-telling

  • Brainstorming creative questions, ideas, characters and scope


This is a craft workshop for all writers. More information on program formats and level definitions can be found here.

About Melissa

Dr Melissa Ashley is the author of the award-winning historical fiction, The Birdman’s Wife (Affirm Press). Melissa has published articles and stories in The Age (Spectrum), The Lifted Brow, Review of Australian Fiction, Catamaran Literary Review and others. Melissa is currently working on a historical novel based on the life of Madame D***, a 17th-century French fairy tale author.


Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Unless otherwise stated, Queensland Writers Centre workshops and events are suitable for participants aged 16 years and over. If you are under 18 years of age, please check with us for suitability before purchasing a ticket. 

Membership will be confirmed on arrival, in the event it isn’t current, membership will need to be arranged.

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Information on getting to the State Library of Queensland can be found here.

What can I bring into the event?

You can bring either pen and paper or a laptop along with you to write with. If you do bring a laptop, please remember to bring a power adaptor if necessary. 

Will this event be livestreamed?

Queensland Writers Centre aims to provide material to its membership regardless of where they reside within Queensland by livestreaming some events. Attendees may be broadcast periodically throughout the event as recording takes place. If you wish not to be filmed, let staff know prior to the event.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

You can contact us by phone on 07 3842 9922 or email us at

What’s the refund policy?

If Queensland Writers Centre cancels an event, we will try to reschedule it for a later date. If we cannot reschedule the event, or if you are unable to attend on the amended date, your payment will be refunded in full.
Except in special circumstances, if you cancel a booking for, or are unable to attend an event, workshop, seminar, or course, Queensland Writers Centre cannot provide a refund. You can contact us to discuss your situation on 07 3842 9922 or email us at

Terms and Conditions

All information is correct at the time of publication. We reserve the right to make changes to the advertised program information (including course content and tutors), but if this occurs, we will try to provide as much notice as possible.
We expect that all participants will behave respectfully and professionally towards their tutor and fellow students. We reserve the right to remove anyone who behaves in an aggressive or disruptive manner. If a participant is asked to leave the class on this basis, we will not offer a refund.
We cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or expense sustained by students as a result of an event or circumstance whether arising from natural cause, human agency or beyond our control otherwise.


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