Research Methods for Fiction Writers
with Kerry Young

People’s lives and stories do not take place in a vacuum. They take place in particular circumstances of personal, social, political and economic contexts. Crafting accuracy in terms of time and place and authenticity in narrative voice, therefore requires fiction writers to undertake research.

This workshop will focus on the role of research in the writing of fiction. It will help you to understand the mechanics of the research process in identifying areas for investigation, gathering, interpreting and synthesising information; and representing it in ‘fiction format’. The workshop will also consider how your values and perspectives as a researcher impact on research, and the constructed nature of reality, facts and history.

Issues relating to research ethics will also be explored specifically in relation to the responsibility of the researcher to work with integrity and respect for subjects and material.

The workshop will be organised around library/internet searches, co-participant interviewing, writing exercises, group discussion, examples of work presented by participants, and workshop-based feedback.

Discounted rates

London Writers Network members receive a 10% discount on Spread the Word’s paid programme of activities, and access to two free specially programmed London Writers Network events a year. You can find out more about the London Writers Network scheme here.

To see if you are eligible for a concessionary rate, please take a look at our concessions policy.

Kerry Young


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Kerry Young was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to a Chinese father and mother of mixed Chinese-African heritage. She came to England in 1965.

Kerry has over 20 years’ experience as an independent consultant, researcher, writer and trainer undertaking projects with a wide range of clients including central government departments, local authorities, public bodies, universities, NHS, and voluntary and community sector organisations. Kerry has Master’s Degrees in organization development and creative writing, and a PhD.

Kerry Young is the author of three novels: Pao (Bloomsbury, 2011) shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Book Prize and the East Midlands Book Award; Gloria (Bloomsbury, 2013) longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and Show Me A Mountain (Bloomsbury, 2016).

Kerry is a Reader and Mentor for The Literary Consultancy and a tutor for the Arvon Foundation. She is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, Honorary Assistant Professor in the School of English at The University of Nottingham, and Honorary Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Leicester.

Photo of Kerry Young by Françoise Paton

Islington Central Library, 2 Fieldway Crescent, Islington, London N5 1PF