Research and Backstory, with Jacqueline Sheehan

Research and Backstory are essential ingredients in narrative—they bring authority, authenticity, and depth to a story. But making those fascinating facts work for you and not against you is tricky. Research can lead down a rabbit hole of evermore-tantalizing tidbits of information, bogging down process and product. Backstory is research’s evil twin, occasionally turning into an information dump that can overshadow plot. In this morning workshop, we discuss the best sources and practices for research, and how to distill enough backstory into our pieces to lend authenticity, without making them dull.

This workshop will be held online.

Saturday, April 30, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Jacqueline Sheehan, PhD is the New York Times bestselling author of The Comet’s Tale, Lost & Found, Now & Then, Picture This, The Center of the World, and The Tiger in the House. She writes NPR commentaries, travel articles, and essays including the New York Times column, “Modern Love.” She edited the anthology, Women Writing in Prison. Jacqueline teaches workshops at Grub Street in Boston and around the world. Find out more at