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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Calkins to Offer Public Workshop

Author Susanna Calkins to Offer Public Workshop on Historical Fiction


Author and scholar Susanna Calkins will offer a free public workshop on historical fiction writing at 6 p.m. Monday, March 23 in Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Heritage Room. A book signing will follow the event.

In her workshop, “Writing Historical Fiction: Balancing Accuracy and Authenticity,” Calkins will discuss what she has learned about writing historical fiction as a historian-turned-novelist, and share her own path to publication. She will offer some strategies for avoiding the most common pitfalls in writing historical fiction. Among the questions Calkins will answer: How does one contextualize historical stories without just dumping information on readers? How can dialogue be made to seem authentic without sounding stilted or archaic? How much historical research is sufficient?

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Calkins lives outside Chicago with her husband and two sons, according to her website. Calkins earned a doctorate in history from Purdue University, and she writes a historical mystery series featuring Lucy Campion, a 17th-century chambermaid-turned-printer’s apprentice. Her first novel, “A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate” (Minotaur/St. Martin’s Press), was a finalist for the Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award (Macavity). The second in this series, “From the Charred Remains,” is currently a finalist for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award. Her third novel, “The Masque of a Murderer,” will be released in April 2015.

For more information, please contact Chris Corley, Honors Program director and associate professor of history, by phone at 507-389-5191 or by email at (NOTE TO MEDIA: Calkins will be available for media interviews, but requests should be made prior to the event by calling the Honors Office at 507-389-5191 or sending an email to Corley.)

The event is sponsored by the Honors Program and Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of History, which is part of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,376 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

For MSU events: individuals with a disability, who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, are asked to contact the Office of Accessibility Resources at 507-389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD) at least five days prior to the event.

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