Home » Calendars » Events » Event

Balancing Backstory



Laurel Cohn




There’s nothing worse than getting cornered at a party with a stranger determined to tell you all about themselves – too much backstory! The same is true with characters on the page. Backstory can notoriously bog down a manuscript, particularly in the opening chapters. But how do you determine how much backstory to provide? And where? Through exercises and excerpts from published books, participants will gain a deeper understanding of how to use backstory effectively, and how to get the most out of what you know about your characters without sacrificing narrative momentum.
A photo of Laurel Cohn.


This workshop will take place online. Detailed instructions for participation will be provided.

You Will Learn:

  • · What constitutes backstory
  • · What the writer needs to know, and what the reader needs to know in terms of backstory
  • · How to embed backstory in dialogue, narration and description
  • · How to insert snippets of backstory in context
  • · The dramatic implications of concealing and revealing backstory

About the Tutor:

Laurel Cohn is passionate about communication and the power of words to engage, inspire and challenge. Since the late 1980s Laurel has been helping writers of all types prepare their work for publication as an assessor, editor, mentor and teacher. Laurel is a regular workshop presenter for peak writing organisations in Australia, and also teaches in Europe. She has a PhD in literary and cultural studies.  

Not a Member?

Members of Writers Victoria receive up to 37% off the full price of our workshops, seminars and courses. In addition, members have access to a range of other discounts and opportunities and receive a subscription to 'The Victorian Writer' magazine. Memberships start from just $50. Find out more about becoming a member here.

Book early to access our early bird prices! These expire 9 days before the course begins. Please keep in mind that our workshops require a minimum number of participants to run, so booking early also helps ensure that a workshop will go ahead. 

Cancellation Policy




Phone: +61399178461
Email: [email protected]

Registration for this event ended on 28 July 2023 - 4:00
Scroll to Top