Online: Creative Non-Fiction
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Enhance your creative non-fiction with this six-week 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 workshopping 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.
Please expect to dedicate three to four hours to coursework each week. This includes reading, responding to discussions, writing, revising and providing peer feedback.
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.
Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this course. Please read our FAQ before enrolling.
About the tutor
Anwen Crawford is a Sydney-based writer and critic. She is the music critic for the Monthly, and her essays have appeared in publications including Best Australian Essays, the New Yorker, Meanjin and Sydney Review of Books. She was awarded the 2016-17 NSW Writer’s Fellowship and was the 2017-18 UTS Writer in Residence. Her book, Live […]