Writing History with Katrina Kittel and Christine Bramble 

Date: 3rd July

Time: 10am – 3pm

Writing history: questions, searches and revelations
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? Can you work with conflicting accounts and multiple perspectives to enrich your stories? As a writer, what will this research experience make you feel and how can you inject that into your writing?

Workshop presenters: Christine Bramble and Katrina Kittel

Christine will present an interactive session exploring the tools historians use to build a narrative; developing a body of resources; verifying evidence, sifting out the irrelevant and untrue, recognising bias and the difference between fact and opinion. The workshop will look at a variety of case studies including Christine’s
publications about the Great War (WW1)

Katrina’s sessions will identify and examine sources including those that yield multiple viewpoints and you will be invited to consider examples of writing history.

You too may learn more about yourself as the researcher of the history of others, and as a writer, than you anticipate.

Location: Wickham – exact address will be provided after you book

What to bring: lunch, writing material. Participants need to bring paper and pen as this is an active workshop.

PT: the venue is a 3 minute walk from Newcastle Interchange

$66 for HWC members

$88 for Non-Members

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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 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) 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