Introducing our online masterclasses…

Our online masterclasses are designed specially for historical fiction writers and feature a wide range of distinguished speakers and useful topics. We run one masterclass every month, usually on or around the first week of the month, with each masterclass lasting three hours and including a mix of presentation and Q&A, with an optional writing burst, discussion session, or exercises at the end. All of our masterclasses take place live and online via Zoom, with recordings available afterwards. You can choose to purchase each masterclass as a one off, or you can join The History Quill as a member, and they will be included in your membership. Members also get extra perks, including extended access to the recordings and exclusive masterclasses. See below for more information on our upcoming masterclasses and how you can join in!

Our next masterclass:


Monday 5 June 2023, 6:30pm BST / 1:30pm ET

Your tutor

Louise Fein

Louise writes mainly twentieth-century historical fiction, based around unheard voices, or from unusual perspectives. Her debut novel, People Like Us (entitled Daughter of the Reich in the US/Canada edition), was published in 2020 in 13 territories and is set in 1930s Leipzig. The book was shortlisted for the RSL Christopher Bland Prize 2021 and the RNA Historical Novel of the Year Award 2021. Louise’s second novel, The Hidden Child, was published in 2021 and is centred around the eugenics movement in 1920s England and America. It was a Globe & Mail bestseller in Canada.

Her third novel, The London Bookshop Affair, about one woman’s journey to uncover secrets of her mother’s past, set against a backdrop of espionage and looming nuclear war in 1962 London, will be published in January 2024.

Louise, previously a lawyer and banker, holds an MA in Creative Writing from St Mary’s University and now writes full-time. Equally passionate about historical research and writing, she loves to look for themes which have resonance with today’s world.

Key topics

The basic ingredients for a satisfying love story

Whether you’re writing in the romance genre or another genre entirely, if you want readers to fall in love with the romantic relationships in your story, there are some basic ingredients you’ll need to include. Louise will walk you through these and look at why some of the greatest love stories ever told work as well as they do, from Romeo & Juliet to The Remains of the Day.

The importance of character

If characters are forced into behaving in a certain way, the romantic elements of your story simply won’t ring true. How might your character’s personality shape their romantic relationships? What internal and external conflicts might get in their way?

How to write sex scenes

How much sex is appropriate for the type of book you’re writing? How can you write a sex scene that won’t be a contender for the Bad Sex in Fiction Award? Louise will briefly touch on these common concerns.

Romance and historical context

As ever with historical fiction, we can’t assume that what is typical today was also typical in times past. With this in mind, Louise will cover the key historical details you’ll need to consider when researching and writing the romantic elements of your story.

Structure and schedule

The masterclass will take place on Monday 5 June 2023. All times are given in British Summer Time (BST) and US Eastern Time (ET).

6:30pm BST / 1:30pm ET

 The masterclass begins. The tutor will welcome all participants and deliver a talk covering the key topics. There will be opportunities for you to ask questions during the talk, allowing plenty of time for interaction. This is the main section of the masterclass and will last two hours.

8:30pm BST / 3:30pm ET

We will invite participants to join an optional hour-long writing burst, where you can put what you’ve just learnt into practice.

Both parts of the event will be delivered live and online via Zoom. You must have access to a computer or smart device capable of supporting Zoom and a reliable internet connection in order to participate.

Join this masterclass!

Select your country for the correct pricing and currency (USD, GBP, or EUR)

$54.00 USD per month


Become a member and get access to this masterclass, and subsequent masterclasses, as part of your membership. You’ll also benefit from exclusive member perks, including indefinite access to masterclass recordings for as long as you remain a member and access to special member-only masterclasses. Membership also comes with other benefits – you can learn more on our membership page. You can cancel at any time.

$72.00 USD

One-off purchase

Book this masterclass as a one-off purchase. You will be able to join this masterclass and will have access to the recording for one week afterwards. You won’t get access to any of our member perks.

Future masterclasses

Thursday 6 July 2023, 6:30pm BST / 1:30pm ET

Accuracy vs story: striking the balance in historical fiction, with Liz Trenow

This masterclass is exclusive to members

Thursday 3 August 2023, 6:30pm BST / 1:30pm ET

Email marketing: the key to selling more books, with Shayla Raquel

Thursday 7 September 2023, 6:30pm BST / 1:30 ET

Full immersion: research beyond books, with Melissa Addey

Monday 2 October 2023, 6:30pm BST / 1:30 ET

Editing bootcamp, with Kim Taylor Blakemore


See what previous participants have said about our masterclasses…

“Thank you to The History Quill for organising such an excellent masterclass; I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot but was also reassured that I’m moving in the right direction with my writing.”

Veronica White

“I was engaged from beginning to end. I really enjoyed the tutor’s presentation and the exercise afterwards. I’m usually too shy to participate, but I really wanted to join in. I am so pleased I found The History Quill!”

Susan Jennings

Frequently asked questions

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How can I participate in the masterclasses?

You can either join us as a member or book each masterclass individually. We will email you a link the day before each masterclass, and you’ll use this to join the event on the day. We’ll also send you a reminder about an hour before the masterclass begins.

All our masterclasses take place live and online via Zoom. You must have access to a computer or a smart device capable of supporting Zoom, and you must have access to a reliable internet connection to take part.

Are the masterclasses recorded?

Yes, our masterclasses are recorded. The first two hours, consisting of the talk and Q&A sections, are always recorded. We sometimes record the optional hour-long session at the end as well, but it depends on the content and format.

If you’re a member, you’ll get access to the recordings indefinitely, as long as your membership remains active. If you book a masterclass as a one off, you’ll retain access to the recording for one week.

Which countries do you accept bookings from?

We welcome bookings from people who are resident in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada (excluding Saskatchewan), Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and any EU country. If you are not resident in one of these countries, unfortunately we won’t be able to accept your business at this time.

Please note the stipulation about time zones below.

If I become a member, when will my membership fee be taken?

We take membership fees monthly. Your first payment will be taken when you join, and it will renew automatically every month on the same date.

What's the difference between becoming a member and booking each masterclass as a one off?

Members pay a recurring monthly fee, which is significantly lower than the cost of booking each masterclass as a one off. As a member, you’ll get access to every masterclass that takes place from the date you become a member, and you also get some exclusive perks, including indefinite access to the recordings for as long as you remain a member, and access to special member-only masterclasses. Members will also receive access to The History Quill Community, exclusive blog content, and discounts on some of our most popular services. Full details of our membership can be found on our membership page.

If you prefer to book the masterclasses on a one-off basis, you’ll pay a higher fee and won’t get access to member perks. You will only have access to the recordings for one week after each masterclass and won’t be able to participate in any member-only masterclasses.

I'm a member, where can I find the recordings?

You can find the webpage with all the masterclass recordings here. You can also find the link in your user portal.

You will only have access to the masterclasses that occurred after you became a member.

Can I cancel my membership at any time?

Yes! You can cancel whenever you like. Members aren’t locked in for a minimum period, so you can join for as little as one month if you like.

You can cancel via your online account here. Go to the subscription section in order to cancel. Alternatively, you can email us at, and we’ll cancel your membership for you.

When is the booking deadline for each masterclass?

If you are booking the masterclass as a one off, the deadline for booking is 48 hours before the masterclass takes place. We also close the membership subscription option on this page at the same time. If you join our membership on another part of the website less than 48 hours before a masterclass takes place, be aware you may miss the link to join the masterclass live, though you will still get access to the recording.

How interactive are the masterclasses? Can I ask questions?

There is lots of scope for interaction during our masterclasses. You will be able to ask questions during the Q&A sections, and afterwards there is always an optional one hour session involving a group writing burst, exercises, or discussion.

Equally, if you’d prefer not to interact, you don’t have to. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy the talk. You don’t have to participate in the optional one hour session at the end if you don’t want to.

How does the optional one hour session at the end work?

At the end of the talk and Q&A, we will invite you to join an hour-long session at the end, which will normally consist of a writing burst, exercises, or discussion.

If you wish to watch the session but not directly participate, you’re very welcome to do so.

Do you accommodate different time zones?

Our masterclasses are live events, and we schedule them to align well with time zones in North America and Europe. If you are outside of these locations, you can still participate, but it may not align well with your local time zone. You also have the option of watching the recordings instead.

What accessibility options do you provide?

We use live AI captions for the masterclasses, and these are also included in the recordings. Please note, these captions won’t be 100% accurate and may be delivered with a short delay, but they should help people who are deaf or hard of hearing to participate.

How do I pay?

You can pay by credit or debit card when you book or join as a member. For members, future payments will then be taken on the same day each month until you cancel your membership.

Which payment currencies do you accept?

We accept three payment currencies: USD, GBP, and EUR. The currency you pay in will depend on your country of residence. People resident in the UK will pay in GBP, people resident in the EU will pay in EUR, and people resident in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa will pay in USD.

What are the full terms and conditions?

You can view our full terms and conditions here.

More questions?

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing us at

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