Delivery of this module will be online due to government-issued guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic and may be made available face-to-face subject to Public Health England recommendations. Please submit your application and, once reviewed by the module leader, you will receive more specific information about the online delivery of your module and assessments.
A solid foundation in how to write and edit narrative non-fiction, the aim of this course is to encourage and inspire students in their writing.
Open to all, wherever you live, the Narrative Non-Fiction evening course aims to give writers confidence in their ability to deliver good, clean prose, to develop their use of vivid metaphoric language and to structure effectively both long and short works.
Due to popular demand, this course is now available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so just enrol to the night that suits you best.
Led by an award winning writer, this short course will help you to develop your creativity and critical thinking, as well as your editing skills. You will be provided with the opportunity to develop your writing techniques and receive professional feedback on your work from a published writer and editor.
Additionally, you will receive an insight into the publishing industry, including advice on how to prepare a book proposal.
Taught over 10 weekly evening classes and delivered from our central London location, the course offers expert tuition and the flexibility of part-time study.
Beginning with set exercises and moving on to the student’s work, the class becomes a workshop in which the students benefit from sharing each other's work as well as receiving guidance from the tutor.
The requirements of editors, agents and publishers are explained. Non-fiction of all genres (memoir, biography, travel, history, science and politics) is welcome.
The aim of this Narrative Non-Fiction course is to encourage and inspire, through group discussion and individual exercises. Detailed individual feedback and editing of some of the assignments is a special feature of the course, with the aim of teaching students how to edit and judge their own work.
Guidance will also be given on how to prepare a book proposal.
“ I am finding the course extremely useful... I want to broaden my writing and take it to the next level. Techniques I’m being introduced to will assist me in doing that. ”
“ I've very much enjoyed the course so far, and one aspect I've found pleasantly surprising is the collaborative learning. There's certainly a high calibre of writers from whom I am benefitting. ”
“ It does really help to have the chance to get some really constructive feedback on my writing, and to learn some brilliant writing techniques. It's not something I've had the chance to learn before! ”
“ I have never had the chance to learn so much about mechanisms and styles in writing before. It was a real eye-opener for me. ”
Rasmus Meldgaard Harboe
“ Through my news journalism training in particular I've learnt to adopt quite a spare, stripped-back style. All well and good, but I've really enjoyed being encouraged to explore more fully what language can do. ”
“ Really stimulating and enjoyable and I've been so grateful for the incredible insights and guidance. ”
“ Although I do have solid journalism experience, it’s always useful to explore new approaches and get feedback. So I’m really enjoying the class. ”
“ It has been helpful to think about doing things more intentionally and to enjoy other people's writing too. ”
Over the course of 10 weekly evening classes on the Narrative Non-fiction short course, you will learn:
Applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English.
There is no assessment, but the course aims to teach students how to edit and judge their own work through exercises, both individual and in small groups, where reading aloud encourages group discussion.
The aim of this course is to encourage students in their writing and offer them the chance to improve their skills.
Guidance will also be given on how to prepare a book proposal. Guest speakers may include Julie Wheelwright, director of the MA in Creative Writing (Non-fiction) at City, University of London, and also an editor/publisher with tips on how to get published.
The list below demonstrates the range of narrative non-fiction available, but is not required pre-course reading.
Other reading on language and writing:
Peter Forbes is a science writer, editor and teacher. He has written numerous articles and reviews for the Guardian, Independent, The Times, Financial Times, Aeon, Nature, Scientific American, New Scientist, World Medicine, Modern Painters, New Statesman, and other magazines.
He was editor of the Poetry Society's Poetry Review from 1986-2002, and played a major role in the groundbreaking New Generation Poets promotion of 1994. He then edited Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry (Viking, 1999).
The Gecko’s Foot, a book on the new science of bio-inspired materials, was published by Fourth Estate in 2005 and was long-listed for the Royal Society Prize. Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and camouflage (Yale University Press, 2009) won the 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing. His latest book is Nanoscience: Giants of the Infinitesimal (Papadakis), co-written with the sculptor Tom Grimsey.
Peter has been a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London, St George’s, University of London and Great Ormond Street Hospital and teaches a PhD writing workshop at UCL. He has also run writing workshops at Goldsmiths, University of London and Buzzfeed.