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 subscribe for a reduced monthly fee and extra perks, including extended access to the recordings and exclusive masterclasses for subscribers. See below for more information on our upcoming masterclasses and how you can join in!

Our next masterclass:


Sunday 5 February 2023, 7:00pm GMT / 2:00pm ET*

*Please note the change from the usual timings

Your tutor

Johanna Wittenberg

Johanna Wittenberg is the author of the bestselling Norsewomen series, inspired by the life of an all-but-forgotten queen of the early Viking Age. The sources barely mention Queen Åsa, yet she was a woman who managed to take vengeance for her father’s murder, seize control of her ancestral kingdom, and rule alone for nearly two decades during the most tumultuous period of Norse history.

The Norsewomen series vividly reimagines Åsa’s life, based on extensive research and a deep understanding of the Norse culture.

Like her Viking forebears, Johanna has sailed to the far reaches of the world. She now lives on a fjord in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, whom she met on a ship bound for Antarctica.

For fascinating facts about the Viking Age, visit

Key topics

Representing powerful women in history 

It has often been assumed women throughout history had less power and agency than they really did. High-status women have been expunged, minimised, or ignored. Using various sources, Johanna will discuss common ideas of women in history and will discuss real women vs. fictional ones.

Considering character traits and arcs

Johanna will explore several challenging questions, such as comparing how women were treated during their lifetime versus how historians have described them, how women might have viewed themselves, and how they might have coped with social expectations of the time (along with love, motherhood and limitations).

Exercising authority

 Women, both now and in the past, have always had authority it has just been viewed differently. In this section, Johanna will explore what authority women might have had and whether or not it was considered unusual for the time period. She will also explore the choices and sacrifices that were made in order to gain power, along with how women maintained the authority they gained.

Women in battles and duels

Johanna will discuss some questions about ‘the fighting woman’. Did they fight their own battles or did they command/manipulate others to fight for them? Who and what were the enemies of women, and in what ways might they have underestimated them?

Structure and schedule

The masterclass will take place on Sunday 5 February 2023. All times are given in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and US Eastern Time (ET).

7:00pm GMT / 2:00pm 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.

9:00pm GMT / 4:00pm ET

We will invite participants to join an optional hour-long discussion group, where you can discuss the ideas and topics you’ve just learnt about, and share your own thoughts and experiences.


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 subscriber and get access to this masterclass, and subsequent masterclasses, for a reduced rate. You’ll also benefit from exclusive subscriber perks, including indefinite access to masterclass recordings for as long as you remain a subscriber and access to special subscriber-only masterclasses. 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 subscriber perks.

Future masterclasses

Thursday 2 March 2023, 6:30pm GMT / 1:30pm ET

Writing about real people in history, with Gill Paul

This masterclass is exclusive to subscribers

Tuesday 4 April 2023, 6:30pm GMT / 1:30pm ET

Developing a writing habit, with MJ Porter

Thursday 4 May 2023, 6:30pm GMT / 1:30 ET

How to create voice in your writing, with Umi Sinha

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

Writing romantic relationships, with Louise Fein

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

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


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

Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Which countries do you accept bookings and subscriptions from?

We welcome bookings and subscriptions 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.

How can I participate in the masterclasses?

You can either become a subscriber 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.

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

Subscribers pay a recurring monthly fee, which is significantly lower than the cost of booking each masterclass as a one off. You get access to every masterclass that takes place from the date of your subscription onwards, and you also get some exclusive perks, including indefinite access to the recordings for as long as you remain a subscriber and access to special subscriber-only masterclasses.

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

If I subscribe, when will my subscription fee be taken?

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

Can I cancel my subscription at any time?

Yes! You can cancel whenever you like. Subscribers aren’t locked in for a minimum period, so you can subscribe for as little as one month (giving you access to one masterclass) if you like.

You can cancel via your online account here. Go to the subscription section in order to cancel.

I'm a subscriber, 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 occured after you became a subscriber.

When is the booking/subscription deadline for each masterclass?

You must book or subscribe before the first day of the month in which the masterclass takes place.

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.

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

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 subscribe. For subscribers, future payments will then be taken on the same day each month until you cancel your subscription.

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

How to write a query letter

Enter your details below to receive your guide on how to write a query letter by email. If you want to develop your skills as a historical fiction writer, you can also join our email list for more free resources, regular writing tips, and promotions.

Would you like to join our email list? *
What stage are you at in your writing journey?

By submitting your details, you agree to the processing and storage of your data in accordance with our privacy policy.