Online: Creative Non-Fiction

Anwen Crawford

Monday 2 August to Friday 10 September 2021, online

Full Price: $660
Member: $495
Conc Member: $430

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Enhance your creative non-fiction with this six-week online course covering narrative and structure, scene-setting and more. Join critic and essayist Anwen Crawford to explore the possibilities of non-fiction done boldly.

We will read a range of creative non-fiction pieces in order to learn by example, undertake a number of short writing exercises, and discuss our findings together. Through group work-shopping and individual feedback from Anwen, you will learn new ways of approaching your non-fiction writing.

This course takes place on a website specifically designed for writers, making it simple and easy to share your writing, give and receive feedback, and interact with fellow writers.

Is this course right for you? Read our FAQ > 

Week-by-Week Course Breakdown

Week 1: What is ‘creative non-fiction’?

Creative non-fiction is a phrase we hear a lot, but what types of writing do we mean when we say this? This week we take an overview of the field and consider some of the hallmarks – subjectivity and viewpoint, narrative technique, use of language – that distinguish creative non-fiction from other non-fiction forms like news journalism.

Week 2: Good timing

This week we’ll think about narrative and structure in creative non-fiction. How do we (re)construct a true story on the page? How do we put research and analysis into play without bogging down the pace? We’ll undertake some close reading in order to help us think about these questions, and we’ll also consider the ways in which your chosen subject can help to determine the structure of your piece. 

Week 3: Word, words, words

One of the distinguishing features of creative non-fiction is a ‘literary’ use of language. This week we’ll look closely, on a sentence level, at how we can make our non-fiction pieces come alive through vocabulary, tone, rhythm and pacing.

Week 4: Putting other people (and yourself) in the picture

Creative non-fiction is, although factual, highly subjective. This week we’ll consider creative ways to write about other people in your non-fiction through observation, dialogue and scene-setting. We’ll also dip our toes into the most difficult subject of all: writing about yourself!

Week 5: Exploding the form

There are so many ways to do creative non-fiction, and not all of them need involve a straightforward narrative. This week we’ll consider some of the more poetic and experimental approaches to non-fiction, to motivate us to look afresh at our writing practice.

Week 6: Getting your work into the world

This week Anwen will provide advice on how to pitch your creative non-fiction pieces for publication and give suggestions for journal submissions.

Participant Requirements

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.

More from Writing NSW

Check out our full range of in-person writing courses in Sydney, our online writing courses and our feedback programs to see how we can help you on your writing journey. Find out about our grants and prizes, as well as writing groups across NSW, and sign up to our weekly newsletter for writing events, opportunities and giveaways.

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