Start Writing Creative Non-Fiction
12-week online writing course begins Tuesday 4 May.
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.
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.
Enjoy a free digital copy of Hinterland Magazine! All Start Writing Creative Non-Fiction students can access a free digital copy of Hinterland Magazine and a discount on future purchases.
What the course covers
This course will teach you how to start work on 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
“I can’t commend this course highly enough. It covered all the key aspects of non-fiction writing, and along the way introduced me to authors and styles I had not met before.” Lisa Tulfer, 2020 student
About the tutors
There are two tutors available for this course. There is the opportunity to select your preference during checkout.
Keiron Pim’s book Jumpin’ Jack Flash: David Litvinoff and the Rock’n’Roll Underworld (Jonathan Cape), was hailed as ‘the best debut’ biography of 2016 by Kathryn Hughes in her end of year round-up in the Guardian and as a Book of the Year by The Times. It was longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize, shortlisted in the Wales Book of the Year Awards’ category for Creative Non-Fiction and won the Biography and Memoir category at the 2016 East Anglian Book Awards. Before that Keiron wrote The Bumper Book of Dinosaurs, and edited and introduced Into the Light: the Medieval Hebrew Poetry of Meir of Norwich (East Publishing, 2013), collaborating with the National Centre for Writing to publish this significant poet’s complete works in translation for the first time.
Keiron spent 13 years at the Eastern Daily Press. Since leaving in 2013 he has written for the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator. Alongside his writing, Keiron works as a proofreader, an editor and a mentor to aspiring non-fiction authors. Website
Dan Richards is an acclaimed non-fiction writer specialising in art, travel and adventure.
His first book, Holloway (Faber, 2013), co-authored with Robert Macfarlane & Radiohead artist, Stanley Donwood, was a Sunday Times Bestseller, and has been translated into several languages.
His latest, Outpost: A Journey to the Wild Ends of the Earth (Canongate, 2019), explores of the appeal and pull of far-flung shelters in mountains, tundra, forests, oceans and deserts; landscapes and which have long inspired adventurers, pilgrims, writers, and artists.
‘Richards’ prose is by turns beautiful, funny, evocative and learned, the pages illuminated by lovely, warming footnotes . . . [Richards’ voice is] vivid, self-deprecating, literary and very, very funny.’ (Observer)
‘Dan Richards is a wonderful storyteller, wise, wry and open-hearted, the perfect travelling companion. Outpost tells stories of emptiness, but is bursting with gorgeous life and language. It is a joy to read’ (Max Porter)
‘Vivid, funny and moving – a wonderful stylist’ (Sarah Perry)
‘An incredible book, beautifully written, wild and wickedly funny.’ (Philip Hoare)
Dan has written about travel and culture for publications including Monocle, Harpers Bazaar, Literary Review, Ernest Journal, Caught by the River, and The Quietus.
Recent journalism includes pieces about US fire-lookouts and European night trains for The Guardian, and a trip to Finland to explore Tove Jansson’s life & work on the isle of Klovharun for the Economist’s 1843 Magazine.
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.
“I am often depressed by the standard of online courses, especially in creative subjects. 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.