Centre for Continuing Education

Writing the Real Course

Creative Writing. Express yourself with the written word.

Develop your creative style the smart way with Creative Writing courses at CCE, The University of Sydney.

This writing course offers you a rich immersion in creative nonfiction, practical tuition and instruction in composition and style, along with plenty of opportunities to write and be inspired. You’ll learn how to approach nonfiction writing with imagination, discipline and lyricism. The course explores the distinctions between fiction and nonfiction and the meanings of real and truthful. It encourages writers to understand nonfiction as literature, and shows them how to employ imagination, discipline, creativity and lyricism in its composition, just as one would in fiction. Although a work of nonfiction can be every bit as literary in its diction and design as a novel, nonfiction cleaves to the actual – something that places a heavy burden of truth-telling upon the writer and reorients imagination from invention to witness.


At the end of this course, participants will:

  • Learn the arts and skills of great nonfiction writing.
  • Deepen their awareness of the qualities of fine nonfiction.
  • Learn what makes a nonfiction manuscript publishable.


This course covers the following topics:

  • Foundations.
  • Approach.
  • Writing practice.
  • The literature of witness and attention.
  • The language of solid ground.
  • Nonfiction as literature.
  • Essays.
  • Principles of writing well.
  • The elements of style.
  • Words and music.
  • The importance of place.
  • Form and Structure.
  • Planning.
  • Coherence.
  • Writing with your reader in mind.
  • Getting started.
  • Carrying on.
  • The ethics of nonfiction.
  • Editing and finishing.
  • Fourteen troublesome words and phrases.

Intended Audience

This is a course for everyone who wants to write well about the world we inhabit, the things we know – from family history to politics, from sport to philosophy, from self-help to biography and travel.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Certificate of completion

What others say.

  • This course provided me with some much needed motivation to write, with exposure to some fantastic non-fiction, and a new-found conviction that writing for any purpose can be engaging and full of humanity.

  • ‘Writing the Real’ is highly recommended. Inspirational tutoring. Sensitive, constructive criticism of writing exercises. A joy!

  • This course was more enjoyable and useful than I could have imagined and I cannot praise the tutor too highly.

  • The tutor of this course is one of the most professional facilitators I’ve met – very helpful, caring and a person in the writing field that I have a great deal of respect for. A real asset to your organisation. I learnt a lot and got some great feedback and advice. This tutor helped create a safe environment where all participants in the class could share. Thanks for bringing people with a vested interest in writing together.

  • The presenter of this course is a generous teacher. He shares his love of writing with his students, and makes you think about each sentence construction.

  • Inspiring course that reawakened my passion for writing.

  • I signed up for the course with not much expecations. Right from the first lesson, I’ve been engaged and know I’ve made the right choice to attend.

  • Through inspiring and lively discussions and guidance the tutor unleashed the creative force within us. I have now found (almost) my own voice in writing and feel confident in writing about topics that I would not think possible before!

Enrol Now
There are places available
Writing the Real Course
University of Sydney (Venue TBA)
$390 inc GST

Course added to cart.

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Enrol Now
There are places available
Writing the Real Course
University of Sydney (Venue TBA)
$390 inc GST

Course added to cart.

Proceed to Checkout Close this message
Enrol Now
There are places available
If there isn't a class to suit you, please join the waiting list.