Best-selling author and IWC instructor, Ellen Keith will give a master class for us on Saturday 13 May 2023 from 17:00 to 18:30 at Huis de Pinto (see map). We hope you can stay for drinks, bites and book-signing afterward.

In this master class, we will be looking at Ellen’s second novel, The Dutch Orphan. This work of historical fiction is set in 1941 Amsterdam as the Nazis occupy the Netherlands. We will be examining topics such as the research process for a historical novel, working with multiple perspectives, planning and outlining, and giving your characters purpose, as well as general writing craft and other process questions. This master class will be moderated by fellow instructor Jennifer Gryzenhout and consist of an interview, followed by a Q&A where you’ll get a chance to ask Ellen your questions.

To get the most out of the class, we encourage you to read the book in advance, which will be available from 18 April 2023. You can purchase a copy in ebook and paperback formats from most major retailers, including the Pantheon Books and the American Book Center in Amsterdam.



Ellen Keith is the author of The Dutch Wife, her debut novel which won the 2018 Harper Collins/UBC prize for best new fiction. It became an instant international bestseller, reaching #1 for Canadian fiction on The Globe and Mail’s bestsellers list and #12 on the Publishers Weekly list in the United States. The Dutch Wife has since been published in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Serbia and Italy. Ellen is a Canadian writer with an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and an undergraduate degree in history (with a focus on WWII/Holocaust studies) from the University of Alberta. Her work has appeared in publications such as The New Quarterly and The Globe and Mail. Ellen teaches courses on the novel and memoir with the International Writers’ Collective. This spring she’s teaching online Level I and Level II courses.

Jennifer Gryzenhout is an instructor with the International Writers’ Collective. She is a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction from Calgary, Canada. She teaches English literature at the International School of Amsterdam and Level III creative writing courses (Spring 2023) with the International Writers’ Collective. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She has short stories published in Ink Tears and The Avalon Literary Review, and is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize nomination. She is working on short fiction and a novel.



In this series, working writers talk tips, tricks and techniques with a focus on a single novel or collection. The classes are conducted in an interview format with plenty of room for questions. Check out our podcast archive to listen to recordings of previous Master Classes with writers such as A.M. Homes, winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction; Kristen Roupenian, author of the viral short story “Cat Person”; Jennifer Clement, then PEN International president; and Lauren Groff, the author of Barack Obama’s favourite book of 2015.

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