The Art of Writing a Nonfiction Book That Reads Like a Novel

Cost: $695

This class is sold out! Email us——to be notified when a new session of this class is offered.

Have a killer idea for a nonfiction book and ready to make it a reality? Led by acclaimed author Audrey Clare Farley, this class is for writers working on book-length narrative nonfiction in genres such as memoir, biography, history or true crime. Over the course of 8 weeks, writers will learn how to craft nonfiction that reads like a novel with page-turning storylines, lively characters and immersive scenes. In the first few weeks of class, writers will set and share their individual goals and workshop up to 25 pages of their book. In the second half of the course, writers may either revise and re-submit these pages, or share a new set of up to 25 pages. All 8 weekly class meetings will include craft exercises, some based on short assigned readings. Later sessions will zero in on the details of getting your book published, including one session with a publishing industry insider (an agent or editor) joining to discuss trends and field questions, and another focused on crafting excerpts/adapted essays to grow an audience for your book. By the course’s end, you will have a plan for perfecting your full manuscript, insight into the publishing industry (including what it takes to sign with an agent) and greater confidence in your ability to stylishly narrate and interpret real lives and events.

This class is right for you if…

  • You have a great idea for a nonfiction book but aren’t sure where to begin (or you have a nonfiction article that you’d like to expand into a book).

  • You’ve started writing your nonfiction book and need guidance on how to finish it.

  • You want to learn how to make your book resonate with agents, editors and readers.

This class is open to anyone who is serious about writing a nonfiction book right now. That includes those who already have a full draft, or part of a book written, but it’s also OK if you don’t yet — as long as you’re ready to get started!

All Narratively Academy classes are conducted online and accessible to students anywhere in the world.

Instructor Bio: Audrey Clare Farley is a writer, editor and scholar of 20th-century American culture. She earned a Ph.D. in English literature at University of Maryland, College Park, and now teaches U.S. history at Mount St. Mary’s University. Her first book, The Unfit Heiress: The Tragic Life and Scandalous Sterilization of Ann Cooper Hewitt, tells the story of a 1930s millionairess whose mother secretly sterilized her to deprive her of the family fortune, sparking a sensational case and forcing a debate of eugenics. Audrey’s book, which grew out of a viral Hidden History story she authored for Narratively, is currently in development as a scripted TV series with a major actress and producer attached. Her second book, Girls and Their Monsters: The Genain Quadruplets and the Making of Madness in America, explores the lives of the four women behind a famous case study of schizophrenia. It was named a New York Times Editors’ Pick. Audrey’s stories have appeared in The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other outlets. She lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

“Audrey has the rare ability to listen to each of her students, to synthesize their goals and questions, and help find paths forward with our projects. She is a funny, kindhearted person, and a generous instructor. She was excellent at moderating discussion and offered just the right balance of constructive criticism and encouragement.” —Beth Nodland, former student

Registration Details: Seats in this class are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All purchases are final and nonrefundable. After signing up, you’ll receive an email receipt confirming your purchase. Prior to the start of your class you’ll receive an invitation to access the virtual classroom and view all class materials.

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