Writing Creative Non-Fiction (one week) - Nottingham Trent University



Have you got a true story that you’re burning to tell? It could be about you, your friends, your family, about someone the other side of the world, about our present world or about times long ago. It could be about a mystery, a discovery, a loss, a trip, a passion – if you have a real-life event or story all you need to do is find the right words to tell it! Creative non-fiction is among the most exciting forms of writing around, crossing a range of genres; from biographies and memoirs to travel and documentary writing, to film and music, and even cookery, history and politics. It’s a stimulating literary device that allows us to tell countless different stories from the same facts simply by our perspectives and opinions. This introduction to creative non-fiction will help you to identify your subject and tell your story in the most compelling way possible using a range of literary techniques. This practical course will involve plenty of short writing exercises and optional longer tasks for you to complete outside of the course, as well a trip to complete a place-writing exercise. Courses that explore creative forms of non-fiction are few and far between. However, it’s one of the most up-and-coming forms of writing in contemporary literature and some of the most talked-about books from the last few years have been works of creative non-fiction: The Outrun, The Lonely City, The Last Act of Love, So Sad Today, The Argonauts, White Girls, Between The World And Me, and Men Explain Things To Me. This course will act as an introduction, focusing on the different forms of non-fiction, such as life writing, place writing, memoir, personal essays, lyric essays and travel writing. You’ll be given plenty of short extracts to read from a wide variety of sources and a list of recommended texts to read outside the class. You’ll have lots of opportunities to write, think and share your ideas in an open-minded and supportive environment, punctuated with group readings and collective analysis of important creative non-fiction texts. The course will cover these key themes: • finding the inspiration and understanding your values as a writer • playing with ideas, how to find a story and searching for personal stories • genre expectations, novelistic techniques and narrative frame • writing about people and places – interviewing, overhearing and capturing place • character development, narrative voices, dialogue and points of view • structure and order through framing, flashbacks, and chronological disruption. On this course, you will: • complete short writing tasks and identify your own writing prompts for your work • explore new and exciting forms of writing to stretch your creative writing skills • understand how to use research and embed it into your writing • practice writing with a variety of styles of writing including flash fiction and poetry • understand how to redraft and refine your work • learn how and where creative non-fiction gets published - and how to pitch an idea. What will you gain? You’ll be challenged creatively with the support of a small group of like-minded people, with lots individual attention from the tutor to support your writing. By the end of the course, you’ll have a robust understanding of the different forms of creative non-fiction, an understanding of how to begin composing a new piece of work from an initial idea, through drafting and re-writing to final edits, to telling your stories in an effective and impactful way. You’ll leave with a portfolio of micro essays and flash non-fiction pieces, and an outline planned for a longer piece of writing, with lots of work in progress to continue developing your writing. It’ll ultimately improve any writer’s CV and form the basis of how to transfer existing creative and writing skills into a non-fiction context. A certificate of attendance will be awarded upon completion of the course. Level: Beginner / Intermediate. Entry requirement: No previous writing experience is required, but a willingness to read widely, write and share your ideas, and discuss each other’s writing in an open-minded and supportive environment is required. Where you'll learn: You will be studying creative writing in a UNESCO City of Literature and be based in the School of Arts and Humanities on the City Campus. You will find modern teaching spaces and quiet study environments to develop your ideas and writing. You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing. Tutor Profile: Dr Carol Adlam is a Nottingham-based writer and artist-illustrator working across genres, including creative nonfiction, graphic novels, short stories, and audio drama, and is represented by The BKS Agency in London. In 2022 she was Visiting Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge, in 2021 she was Writer-in-Residence at the University of St Andrews and has been longlisted for the Mogford Writing Prize for her short story ‘Grenoble & Attracta’. Her award-winning writing and illustration includes: Thinking Room (2017), Ministry of Women (2016), Armistice & Legacy (2018), and The New Wipers Times (2014). She has forthcoming a graphic novel with Jonathan Cape, an art-poetry collaboration on Girton College, and is currently writing a critical-creative nonfiction memoir on Eliza Raine, a Regency-era British-Indian woman and first ‘wife’ of Anne Lister. Need accommodation? You can book a self-catered, single room with private bathroom on our city campus, right next door to our studios and classrooms

What's included in the price?

One week of quality tuition with an experienced tutor. Certificate of attendance upon completion. Maximum class size: 17


1 week

Cancellation policy

Medium - Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts


Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Wheelchair users
  • Hearing impaired
  • Vision impaired
  • Limited mobility
  • Residential
  • Suitable for beginners
  • UK Holiday
  • Suitable for all abilities
  • Daytime (weekdays)
  • Accommodation offered
  • Public transport
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Nottingham Trent University, City Campus, Nottingham, 50 Shakespeare Street, NG1 4FQ