Ariela Zucker

Class Title: Historical Fiction
Instructor: Ariela Zucker
Class Term: July 15-August 26, 2019
We are not accepting any more enrollments for Ariela's class; the class has started.


These two words – Historical Fiction may appear intimidating, and research reminds us of school. Therefore, a big part of this class will concentrate on stories we know and like. Stories that are close-to-home and involve people and places that we know firsthand or always cared about. We will begin with short stories and if in time they will develop into full-scale novels that will be your bonus.

Researching past stories is a way to come to terms, and achieve a better understanding of conflicting events

Class Description

At the end of this class, the student will have a deeper understanding of this particular genre and how to approach it.

Instruction/Communication Method:

Members of this group will communicate with me and each other through e-mail. On the first day, I will post a detailed overview of the class. I will also offer guidance on how to post your work to the group, and how to respond to each other's work.

At the beginning of each of the six weeks, I will post a short lecture plus several exercises that will help explain the lesson goal and help with the assigned weekly writing.

This class will be dedicated to reflecting via a deeper understanding of historical fiction; we will examine how this understanding can play an essential part in our writing.


  • Unit 1: About the genre - Historical fiction is not a homogeneous, clear-cut genre; different writers have their take on what is included and what is not, and as a writer, you’ll have to form your understanding. Perhaps thinking of what attracts you to tackle this type of writing might supply some of the answers.
  • Unit 2: Some do’s, and some don’ts - Historical fiction includes research but, in the end, it is about the story, it supposed to entertain and attract not to teach.
  • Unit 3: The research we can’t do without - The tricky part is how much of research is needed, how much of the research needs to find its way into the story when to stop the research so the writer can write. In other words, how to know when to stop researching and how to write a story that is a fictional story and not a research paper
  • Unit 4: The why expanded -
    1. An interest in famous stories and characters that I learn about from history.
    2. The charm of taking an old story and putting my mark on it.
    3. Putting the details together to create a unique fabric.
  • Unit 5: The short historical fiction and other literary forms - The short historical fiction and other literary forms historical fiction is not a homogeneous, clear-cut genre; different writers have their take on what is included and what is not, and as a writer, you’ll have to form your understanding. Perhaps thinking of what attracts you to wrestle with this type of writing. Historical fiction can take varied forms; it can be a full-scale novel, a series of novels or a short story and even a poem. As a writer, it is your call to make.
  • Unit 6: From draft to the finished product - It is not a big secret that first drafts need to be worked and reworked before they can be presented as a final product. Remember, even the greatest writers had to go through the process of revision, first drafts are exactly it, rough and imperfect, they need to be revised and refined to become the final product you aspire for.

Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required

No writing experience necessary. You can be a total beginner, an explorer, or a seasoned writer. We all begin in the same place, and there is something here for everyone.

You will need access to a computer. You will need to use Word or a compatible word-processing program to compose (or transcribe your handwritten) writings.

Time Commitment:

It varies, but you can expect to spend about two to four hours a week. This includes reading, writing, posting, and offering feedback to other writers who post in the group.

Tuition/Fees for this course

SCN members: $192. Non-SCN members: $240.

Instructor Bio

Ariela Zucker Born in Jerusalem. My husband and I moved to the U.S in September 2001, followed by three of our daughters. For the past twelve years, we lived in Ellsworth, in the motel that we own and operate.

While in Israel I worked for many years as a learning disabilities specialist and for several years run a diagnostic center plus an after-school learning facility for learning disabled students grades 1-12. While doing this work, I also run workshops for parents and teachers and self-published a self-help book (in Hebrew), for adults with learning disabilities.

While living in Maine, I started to write in English, mainly poetry and nonfiction, and self-published three books on Amazon.

This is going to be my first class offered online through over the years I participated in many online courses and currently facilitate e-circle #9.

I did facilitate several writing classes via adult-ed, and senior organizations.

I had a teaching experience of over twenty years in the school system grades: 7-12 and was a college instructor as well as an instructor to special-ed teachers in my district.