How do you handle research? How indebted do you feel to stick to the historical record? Two novelists discuss their experiences researching, imagining, and depicting earlier times.
“I had to imagine the life of characters who shared some of my own history but had their own unique ways of being in the world.” —Jeffrey Colvin, author of Africaville
“Sometimes at the end of an eight-hour day I’d have a single paragraph to show for it.” —Dexter Palmer, author of Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen
“I didn’t always feel like writing but I still made myself sit down and do it. I practiced discipline and worked towards inspiration.” —Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King
A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a novel published in the previous year that is set in a period when the United States was at war. Publishers or authors may submit seven copies of a book published in 2019 by December 1. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for the required entry form and complete guidelines.
A fiction writer’s habit of imagining the lives of people who live in her favorite houses leads to serious research for her novel.
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