Start Writing Creative Non-Fiction
Discover the core techniques for writing a non-fiction book, be it a biography, a memoir, reportage or another of the many flourishing forms within this exciting field of writing. 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.
Classes are capped at 15 places to ensure a high quality experience. Book quickly to secure your place.
Special offer: All creative writing online courses include a free 12-week digital subscription to Granta Magazine.
What the course covers
This course will teach you how to:
- Start work on a non-fiction book
- 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
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
About the tutors
We’re lucky to have two expert tutors teaching the course this term. You can choose your tutor when you book your ticket, if you have a preference.
Dan Richards was born in Wales in 1982, grew up in Bristol and graduated from UEA in 2004. His first book, Holloway — co-authored with Robert Macfarlane & illustrated by Stanley Donwood — was published by Faber in 2013 and became a Sunday Times bestseller. The Beechwood Airship Interviews, (HarperCollins, 2015) took a journey into the creative process, head-spaces and workplaces of some of Britain’s celebrated artists, craftsman and technicians including Bill Drummond, Judi Dench, Jenny Saville, Manic Street Preachers & Stewart Lee. Climbing Days (Faber, 2016), was an exploration of the writing and climbing lives of Dan’s great-great-aunt and uncle — Dorothy Pilley & I.A. Richards. Outpost (Canongate), a book about far flung shelters and eyries, isolation and wilderness was published in the UK, Commonwealth and USA in April 2019. Dan has written for publications including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Monocle, Slightly Foxed, Lodestars Anthology, Ernest Journal, and The Quietus. His Twitter handle is @Dan_Zep
Ed Parnell lives in Norfolk and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He has been the recipient of an Escalator Award from the National Centre for Writing, and in 2009 received a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to fund a seven-week book research expedition to the Australian Outback. The Listeners, Ed’s first novel (and first book) won the 2014 Rethink New Novels Prize. His second book, Ghostland, a work of narrative non-fiction was published in October 2019 by William Collins. He is the Director of the Wymondham Words literature festival.
Here’s Ed discussing the creation of Ghostland:
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.
This is a practical and engaging course with direct, expert tutor feedback.
Designed by the University of East Anglia and the National Centre for Writing.