Non-fiction writing is often considered the poor cousin of ‘real’ writing. Being a novelist sounds far more exciting than an author of a guide to painting and decorating, but I can guarantee the painter and decorator author has a far better chance of being published and paid. At the top end of the scale we have the Bill Brysons, the Antonia Frasers and the Alistair McGraths, so it’s not all tiling and grouting.

In this eight-session non-fiction writing course we will look at various outlets for your non-fiction writing. Please try out the exercises and feel free to leave your comments at the end. The course is completely free and available for you to work through in your own time.

Here’s the course outline:

  1. Non-fiction writing
    A look at the non-fiction market, what opportunities there are out there, and how to get started by writing letters to the editors of some of your favourite magazines.
  2. Non-fiction writing style
    How to engage your readers by using a narrative style and employing creative writing techniques. We also look at writing to a word count and documenting your research.
  3. Writing for the Internet
    Online writing opportunities: e-zines, wikis, copywriting and blogging, and we finish off with some web-specific writing tips.
  4. How to write an autobiography
    Autobiographical lenses and some different types of autobiographical writing: life stories, family histories, and true-life articles.
  5. Freelance travel writing
    How to break into the market, the myth of all-expenses-paid trips, and how taking great photos can help you get published.
  6. How to write a feature article
    Documenting your research, choosing an angle, and structuring your article, and we end with some tips on feature article layout.
  7. Writing a proposal
    Approaching editors and publishers, and how to write a magazine or non-fiction book proposal.
  8. Finance, copyright and libel
    Financial and tax considerations, copyright, libel and defamation.

nicholas-corder-successful-non-fiction-writingThis course serves as an introduction to the topics listed above; for a more in-depth treatment you should check out the websites and helpful books I’ll mention as we go along, which you can either buy or borrow from your local library. If you can only get your hands on one book for this course, I highly recommend Successful Non-fiction Writing by Nicholas Corder.

Any questions? Then check out the Frequently Asked Questions page. Otherwise…

>> Click here to get started.

Happy writing!

18 comments on “Contents

  1. Neil McPherson on said:

    Very interesting Crafty! I admire the smoothness with which you have grafted or is crafted your free generous offer to the head of your own site for you business. Neat as they say in Virginia.

    I am off on family holidays tonight so canna expand on this flattery right now.

    But let me say this: If you have time you will see I have whole different slant on the whole nonfiction thing. Possibilty of symbiois looms …in my head …right now. ( You have given me an idea and maybe a proposal.Thanks.

    I will have computer along in France but may not ven open it except to check my stranded site (got virused last week but now clean (the site I mean) . .. and slightky dead for two weeks)

    Must rush, Best wishes and good hunting.


  2. Neil McPherson on said:

    ouch didn’t word check!

  3. Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

    Dear Lonewordsmith (AKA Neil!). Thanks for the encrouagement. I checked out your site and as you say we’re approaching the same thing from different angles. Thanks for visiting and enjoy your holiday.


  4. Dave aka The Writing Geek on said:


    Great idea! I mentioned your course in my most recent post at The Writing Geek ( I am looking forward to more!

    aka The Writing Geek

  5. Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

    Thanks for dropping by Dave. And thanks for the promo too.

  6. Tricia Ares on said:

    Hello Fiona,

    I found you via Isn’t it a great community? I will definately join you on line. I love learning new things from my fellow writers. I will also feature this post in my blog tomorrow.


  7. Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

    Hi Trish, thanks for stopping by. I visited your site and I shall certainly be recommending it to anyone interested in women and writing. Another site you may be interested in is, a literary magazine for women writers.

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  9. Winslie Gomez on said:

    Thanks for offering this course. Complete amateur but interested!

  10. Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

    Thanks Winslie. Just checked out your chickpea recipe! And loved the ‘satanic’ fish.

  11. james mayo on said:

    i’ve just read a book, in my blood, on it is a cracking read that gallops along. well presented and great content, too. it’s about a guy in security, his experiences, adventures, fears and so on, whilst in the middle east and africa. could be some tips there, too!

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  16. Monica Wisker on said:

    Found you via ‘Market Mole’ in ACW mag. Delighted to find the Non Fiction Course as I had signed up for a journalism course that has, so far, proved very disappointing. Looking forward to having a go.

    • Fiona Veitch Smith on said:

      Hi Monica, well at least this is free so if it doesn’t meet your expectations, nothing lost :) Hopefully though it will help you. This is based on a real-life course I used to teach and a good number of those students have had work published by applying the principles taught in this course. Happy writing!

  17. Aloke Gupta on said:

    I am impressed by the presentation and course content. I look forward to completing the course.


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