Writing Non-Fiction: The Essential Guide
4.4 (37 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
481 students enrolled

Writing Non-Fiction: The Essential Guide

Discover how to write and sell non-fiction for profit
4.4 (37 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
481 students enrolled
Created by Jane Bettany
Last updated 8/2016
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $65.99 Original price: $94.99 Discount: 31% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 9 articles
  • 25 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Understand the essential elements of writing non-fiction articles
  • Know how to find topics to write about
  • Identify writing markets to which you can sell your work
  • Plan, research and write articles that will suit those markets
  • Confidently submit your work to an editor
  • Whilst no formal qualifications or previous knowledge are required to complete this course, you must have enthusiasm for writing and be willing to share your knowledge and experience with others through the written word.
  • You must be able to use word processing software in order to prepare your manuscript for submission to an editor.

Fancy earning a second income as a freelance writer? This course shows you how to create topical non-fiction articles and fillers that you can sell to magazine editors and other markets.

During the lessons you'll learn how to find ideas for your articles, and use your knowledge and experience to tap into a wide variety of magazine markets. The course guides you through the process of planning, researching and writing an article, and explains the importance of editing and proofreading. It teaches you exactly how to submit your work to an editor, and includes examples of how to lay out your typescript, create a cover sheet and write a query letter - in fact, everything you need to start your career as a freelance writer!

The course will teach you the essential elements of writing non-fiction and help you identify writing opportunities and markets in which you can sell your work.

Sign up for this course now to get your freelance career started. Go on to sell just ONE article, and the course will more than pay for itself!

And don't forget that the course is backed by Udemy's 30 day money-back guarantee. So, if you're not completely satisfied, you can ask for a full, no-questions-asked refund. You've got absolutely nothing to lose by enrolling on the course TODAY.

During the course we'll look at:

  • finding ideas
  • finding markets for your work
  • pitching a topic to multiple markets
  • commissioned articles, unsolicited manuscripts and query letters
  • types of non-fiction
  • planning and researching your article
  • making a start and moving it on
  • creating sidebars
  • the importance of photography and images
  • editing your work
  • proofreading tips
  • how to submit your work to an editor
  • how to develop a writing routine.

The course includes 17 videos and numerous downloadable writing exercises and handouts, plus a list of some of the current non-fiction markets.

I hope to welcome you as a student. Please get in touch if you have any questions about the course.

Who this course is for:
  • The course is aimed at new writers, or those who are looking to refresh their knowledge..
Course content
Expand all 27 lectures 02:13:03
+ Introduction
1 lecture 03:55

In this welcome video you will find out what to expect from the course and learn about the course tutor's writing background.

Preview 03:55
+ Ideas and markets
10 lectures 01:06:44

This lesson looks at some of the ways you can start to generate ideas for your articles. It links to the next lesson, which is a writing exercise to help you focus on your own experience and knowledge and how you might turn this into saleable articles.

Preview 02:38

This exercise accompanies Lecture 3 - Finding Ideas - and will get you thinking about the experiences you could draw on to create non-fiction articles and fillers. You may want to download the PDF version and complete the exercise offline at a time that best suits you.

Exercise - what could YOU write about?

This lecture will help you understand the importance of finding a target market BEFORE you start to write your article. It also explains some of the ways in which you can explore potential writing markets and find out what their requirements are.

Finding markets

This list of markets for non-fiction articles is by no means comprehensive, but it will give you a good idea about the range of opportunities that are available for freelance writers and prompt you to research markets that relate to your own area of interest.

List of markets

By adapting your ideas and topics so that they meet the needs of specific and very different markets, you can maximise your chances of selling your articles and increase your writing income. This video looks at the example of how a keen gardener could use the subject of 'gardening' to write numerous articles for very different magazines and readers.

Preview 02:46

This is a really useful exercise to get you thinking about how you can expand your reach with your article ideas.

Exercise - targeting multiple markets
This video includes suggested answers to the writing exercise in the previous lecture. You can listen to the video or, if you prefer to read the answer sheet, you can download it as a PDF.
Exercise - suggested answers

This video explains the difference between a commissioned article, an unsolicited manuscript and a query letter. A sample query letter is included as a handout with this lesson.

Commissioned articles, unsolicited articles and query letters

In this video we consider some of the different ways of making money from non-fiction, from short fillers, readers letters and photographs, through to opinion pieces, reviews and feature articles.

Types of non-fction

In this lesson, we recap briefly on what we've learned in the course so far.

Recap on what we've learned so far
+ Writing your articles and fillers
5 lectures 22:08

This lesson looks at what you will need to consider as you prepare to write your article.

Planning and researching your article

The most obvious place to start your article is the beginning. This lesson discusses some of the ways to start writing.

Making a start

This lesson looks at various ways to structure your article.

Moving it on

This lesson explains what sidebars are, why they are used and how you can create them.

Preview 02:30

You'll stand a much better chance of selling an article if you can provide photographs or other images to illustrate it. This short video considers some of the important points you'll need to remember if you intend to supply photos.

Photographs and illustrations
+ Editing and proofreading your work
4 lectures 11:15

Editing is an important part of the writing process. This video discusses why it's so important. A downloadable Editing Tips handout is included.

How to edit your work

This editing exercise will help you to start thinking about how to trim and tighten your writing to make it the best it can be.

An editing exercise

Proofreading is an important task that many writers overlook. This lesson considers why it's so important to present your work professionally. A downloadable proofreading tips handout is included.

The importance of proofreading

Test your proofreading skills with this quick proofreading exercise.

Proofreading exercise
+ An article example - from idea to outline and beyond
2 lectures 08:00

Take a look at an example article and read about the initial idea, the target market and the article outline.

The idea, target market and outline
The finished article
+ Sending your work to an editor
4 lectures 19:01

You've planned, researched and written your article. This video will help you understand the process of submitting it to an editor.

Formatting and submitting your work

So, you've written your article and sent it off. What happens next?

What happens next?

Once you start to write, it's important to keep going and to develop a regular writing routine. This video looks at some of the ways to do this.

Develop a writing routine

Now that you've completed the course, you can use this 12-Step Action Plan as a prompt as you write your non-fiction articles.

Your 12-step action plan
+ Bonus section
1 lecture 01:59

Thank you so much for joining me on this course. I hope you’ve found it useful. Please feel free to get in touch at any time if you have any questions about your writing projects.


If you’ve enjoyed learning with me and would like to sign up for another of my courses, you can use the code STUDENTSPECIAL to get them for $12 (or use the links below):

Write Stories With a Twist for $12


Writing Short Stories: The Essential Guide for $12



If you have completed 85% or more of the lessons in this course, you will automatically be entered into my monthly prize draw to win a writing critique (see the video in this Bonus Section for more details).


Finally, if you’d like to keep in touch, visit my blog at www.writingsuccess.co.uk/blog for more writing resources and updates or follow me on Twitter @JaneBettany

Bonus lecture