Start Writing Creative Non-Fiction
12-week online writing course begins Monday 19 September 2022
Discover the core techniques for writing creative non-fiction, be it a biography, reportage, nature writing or another of the many flourishing forms within the genre, on this 12-week online creative writing course. Whether you have started to write and would like help moving forward or simply have an idea you’d like to explore, this course will give you the essential tools you need to progress.
This course will teach you how to write a non-fiction book.
You will learn how to
- Conduct online and archival research
- Improve your interview technique
- Create an effective structure for your non-fiction narrative
- Find the right voice (or voices) to tell the story
- Craft compelling prose that engages the reader
- Convey a sense of place in your writing
- Create a multifaceted portrayal of a biographical subject
- Polish up your general writing and communication skills
By the end of the course you will have
- Become familiar with a range of non-fiction forms and voices
- Improved your ability to draw interesting and relevant information from documentary, visual and audio sources
- Improved your ability to extract useful information from interviewees
- A stronger understanding of how to tell a compelling story
- The necessary skills to progress your non-fiction project with confidence
Classes are capped at 15 places to ensure a high-quality experience. Book quickly to secure your place.
Designed by the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at University of East Anglia and the National Centre for Writing.
Feedback from students
‘A very good course. The feedback was constructive and very encouraging.’ — Pamela Sellman
‘Quite simply, the course made me enjoy writing again.’ — Andy
‘This course was outstanding, the quality of the materials was exceptional, and so much thought had gone into structuring and compiling them. I feel I have learnt a great deal – and I’m just sorry that the course has come to an end.’ — Catherine Ward
‘I have really enjoyed this course. The materials were excellent, and the tutor feedback was so helpful. I feel I have learned such a lot and my writing has definitely improved as a result.’ — Lisa Tippings
‘The course material was diverse and stimulating, and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of coming to grips with unfamiliar texts and content.’ — James Hope
It is not essential to have a work in progress before embarking on this course.
This course has been designed to give you the tools and techniques you need to write a piece of creative non-fiction. Not all the assignments and exercises will be directly related to the project or idea you are working on, but all provide transferable skills you can use for your specific project.
If you are interested in writing your own life story, please consider our Introduction to Memoir course instead.
This course is intended for writers aged 18+. If you’re looking for courses suitable for younger writers, check out these online workshops!
About the tutor
Edward Parnell lives in Norfolk and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. His first novel The Listeners (2014), won the Rethink New Novels Prize. Ghostland (William Collins, 2019), a work of narrative non-fiction, is a moving exploration of what has haunted our writers and artists – as well as his own haunted past. It is a unique and elegiac meditation on grief, memory and longing, and of the redemptive power of stories and nature.
Edward is the recipient of an Escalator Award from the National Centre for Writing and a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. He has previously worked for a number of conservation organisations, and in television production. He has written numerous natural history and wildlife-related articles for magazines and newspapers. He is also the Director of the biennial Wymondham Words literature festival, whose previous guests have included Rose Tremain, Mark Cocker, Sarah Perry, Ronald Blythe and Wendy Cope. Website
How it works
All you need is a computer and an internet connection. You can find out more about the requirements here.
The twelve-week course is divided into six fortnightly modules. Participants will analyse extracts from published texts and sources of information including documents and film and audio clips, before discussing them with the tutor and fellow students.
The modules are posted fortnightly. Every two weeks you will submit an assignment to your tutor, who will then respond with constructive feedback and advice.
There are two live Zoom sessions during this course — dates to be announced.
This is a practical and engaging course with direct, expert tutor feedback.
‘I have nothing but praise for this course, and especially for Ed as a tutor.’ Lisa Tulfer, 2020 student
Designed by the University of East Anglia and the National Centre for Writing.