Online: Creative Non-Fiction
Monday 31 October to Friday 9 December 2022, online
Full Price: $660
Conc Member: $430
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Creative non-fiction encompasses everything from memoir to true crime to nature and travel writing. Grounded in factual truth, this broad genre engages readers through the techniques of fiction, including scene-setting, character-building, and even dialogue.
When done well, creative non-fiction can elevate your writing from a factual account to a gripping narrative. It also invites boundless innovation in form and style.
This six-week online course with Ashley Kalagian Blunt is an opportunity for you to delve into the world of creative non-fiction, try new techniques to stretch your writing muscles, and receive feedback in a supportive and encouraging setting. Each lesson includes writing exercises designed to help you practise a wide range of skills, and weekly deadlines for short assignments will provide motivation. You can work toward the completion of a short-form piece for submission at the end of the course, or develop your skills for a longer project.
Five core writing assignments will receive both tutor and guided peer feedback. It might come as a surprise, but giving peer feedback is one of the best ways to determine what makes good writing work and improve your own skills faster.
What is creative non-fiction? Read this helpful article for more information.
Week-by-Week Course Breakdown
Week 1: Delving in
We’ll plunge into the incredible breadth of form and style that creative non-fiction encompasses, analysing a range of examples to determine the components of the genre. You’ll have an opportunity to explore initial ideas for your own creative non-fiction writing and how to best strengthen your skills, both during our course and beyond.
Week 2: Balancing scene, summary and musing
There are only three narrative modes – scene, summary and musing. We’ll unpack the function of each, consider a range of examples to develop our understanding, then experiment with all three modes in our own writing.
Week 3: Writing the self and others
How do we craft an authentic version of ourselves on the page? How do we shape others into characters? When should we insert ourselves into the narrative, and when should we let the story speak for itself?
Week 4: Drawing on research
The non-negotiable element of creative non-fiction is its basis in ‘truth’. Research is valuable, even when writing about our personal experiences. How do we incorporate research without letting it overwhelm our writing? How do we craft facts into compelling narrative? And once we dive into research, how do we know where to stop?
Week 5: Exploring form and voice
Form is one aspect of creative non-fiction that can be especially creative. We’ll analyse examples of form and have a play using generative creative writing exercises. Plus, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of voice. How do we define this all-important aspect of writing, and how do we shape and finesse our own voice?
Week 6: Getting published
In our closing week, we’ll polish our prose and prepare for the challenge of sending our work out into the world, to give it the best chance of connecting with editors, publishers and, ultimately, readers.
This course will be most useful to writers interested in crafting short-form creative non-fiction, but will also be beneficial for those working on book-length projects, including memoir.
Please note, this is an online instructional course with weekly lessons and some tutor feedback. If you’re looking for a course which provides you in-depth feedback on your creative non-fiction, check out our feedback courses.
We’ve designed this online course to meet your learning needs. You can work through the lesson material, ask questions, and engage with fellow writers throughout the course. Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program. Please read our FAQ before enrolling.
There are no live meetings during this course. You will receive an email with an invitation link to join the online classroom by 10am on the day the course starts.
This interactive online course has limited places. Book early to avoid missing out.
Expect to dedicate a minimum of three to four hours per week to this course, noting that the amount of time needed to read, respond to discussions, write, revise and critique will vary from person to person.
Lessons open on a weekly basis. You will have the week to work through the content. There will be some writing exercises and the opportunity to provide peer feedback. Both the writing exercises and peer feedback will have weekly deadlines. If you have questions, check out our most frequently asked questions and if you still can’t find an answer, you can contact us.
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About the tutor
Ashley Kalagian Blunt
Ashley Kalagian Blunt’s memoir How to Be Australian is hailed by Walter Mason as ‘filled with affectionate humour and an occasionally serious eye to what makes Australia special’. Her first book, My Name Is Revenge, was shortlisted for the 2019 Woollahra Digital Literary Award and was a finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. Her writing appears […]