Start Writing Creative Non-Fiction – more places added!
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.
Due to popular demand, we have added a second cohort for the September 2020 semester. All places booked from 3 August onwards will be tutored by Ed Parnell.
This course is designed for writers aged 18+. If you’re looking for courses suitable for younger writers, check out these online workshops!
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
Edward Parnell lives near Norwich and has an MA in Creative Writing from UEA. He has been the recipient of an Escalator Award from the National Centre for Writing and a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. The Listeners (2014) was his first novel, and was the winner of the Rethink New Novels Prize. His new book is the narrative non-fiction Ghostland (William Collins, October 2019), an elegiac meditation on the sequestered places around Britain that haunted writers and artists whose work touches upon the weird and the eerie. Ghostland is also an autobiographical exploration of grief, memory and longing – and of the redemptive power of stories and nature.
Dan Richards is an acclaimed non-fiction writer specialising in art, travel and adventure. His first book, Holloway – co-authored with Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Stanley Donwood – was published by Faber in 2013, became a Sunday Times bestseller and has been translated into several languages.
The Beechwood Airship Interviews (HarperCollins, 2015), took a journey into the creative process, headspaces and workplaces of some of Britain’s celebrated artists and craftsman including Bill Drummond, Dame Judi Dench, Jenny Saville, Manic Street Preachers and Stewart Lee.
Climbing Days (Faber, 2016), is an exploration of the writing and climbing lives of Dan’s great-great-aunt and uncle, Dorothy Pilley and I. A. Richards. Using Dorothy’s 1935 mountaineering memoir as a guide, Dan climbed across Europe, ending with an ascent of the mighty Dent Blanche in the high Alps of Valais.
Outpost (Canongate, 20q0) is a book about far-flung shelters and eyries, isolation and wilderness. Asking what draws people to the ends of the world, Outpost features visits to Cairngorm bothies, French lighthouses, Japanese shrines, Icelandic sæluhús, fire lookout belvederes in Washington State, Martian pods in Utah, Australian ghost stations, brutalist Swiss treehouses, and hot air balloon odysseys in Svalbard.
Dan has written about travel, landscape, art and music for the Economist, Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar, Caught by the River, Monocle and The Quietus amongst others. He is an RLF Writing Fellow at Bristol University.
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.