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Writing about People, Writing about Places

We receive many enquiries for guidance on researching and writing biographies – of family members, friends, significant persons – and advice on writing about historical places and events. 

Published authors, Christine and Katrina, are available to mentor you via a one-off meeting or for a series of sessions. Fee paying.
Do you yearn to unpack the life experience of people who lived in the 20th century? Have you ever wondered how to broaden the historical context in which you or your characters lived? What are some sources and strategies to research your work with a goal to write compelling narrative non-fiction while remaining authentic to the sources used? Do you want guidance on injecting research into your writing so that it ‘comes alive’?

Christine and Katrina can offer feedback on your draft biography about yourself or others, and offer tips and strategies.  Email us and we will forward your enquiry on.
Christine Bramble Board Member

Christine Bramble has a Bachelor of Letters in Australian History.  She has been a high school teacher and was for ten years the Education Officer at Newcastle Regional Museum. Christine is now a freelance historian.  Her short pieces, often with a historical theme, are featured in numerous Catchfire Press anthologies. Her other works include Sisters of the Valley: First World War Nurses from Newcastle and the Hunter Region (book, 2011) and Great War nurses from the Hunter: documents the military service of women from Newcastle and the Hunter region of NSW, 1914-1919 (website, 2011 – 2021, archived in Pandora).   Her latest book, Matron Ida Greaves – ‘a right daughter of Australia’ was published in March 2021. 

Aiming to find out more about her father’s time as a POW, Katrina Kittel’s questioning catapulted her into an eight-year hunt for historical sources and individuals in Australia and Europe, and to revelations well beyond her father’s life. She did not expect her initial curiosity with one person’s story to draw her towards a passion for digging in archives and libraries, connecting with and contributing to history networks and to realise the pleasure and potential of shared research with veterans’ families and interested others. Katrina has researched extensively in archive collections and has built an expertise in the experience of POWs in the Second World War. She has given research assistance to others writing family histories. She did not expect to find confidence to explore and develop a writer style and voice, and to publish a book that revealed not only her father’s war context but also that of other POWs as well as Italian observers around him in Italy in 1943. Along the way, she reflected on her own family more deeply. 

Katrina has a Bachelor of Arts (History), a Master degree, and a postgraduate diploma in librarianship. She has worked in administrative and other roles at The University of Newcastle for over 25 years, and now works in Port Stephens libraries.

Shooting Through: Campo 106 escaped POWs after the Italian armistice (2019, Echo/Barrallier Books) – Katrina Kittel

Katrina Kittel, member of HWC,