Write a Non-Fiction Story online short course


Course information

Download the Course Prospectus to find out more.
16 weeks online
7 hours per week
ZAR R11,900 *Payment Options
Penguin Random House
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* Please note that our online course prices are subject to an increase from 1 April 2018.


Many people want to write, but feel that they don’t have the time, opportunity or skills to do so.

However, almost everyone has a personal story to tell – a startling life experience, a travel adventure, or the fascinating biography of a relative, for example.

This 16-week online short course is designed to mentor both current and aspiring non-fiction writers who want to write an autobiography, memoir, biography, travel narrative or historical account. You’ll also get the incredible chance to submit your work for publication.

View course trailerDownload course prospectus

What will set you apart

This non-fiction writing short course will give you the opportunity to:

  • Produce and workshop a compelling 10-page non-fiction story
  • Collaborate with fellow writers, learning from each other and review each others non-fiction pieces
  • Be advised and supported by experienced author, Mike Nicol
  • Submit your manuscript for consideration to be published under Penguin Random House eKhaya imprint

Course curriculum

This online short course in non-fiction writing is designed to give you the practical skills and expertise to produce your own non-fiction manuscript. With a personalised and supported framework, you’ll study in your own time, guided by industry experts and a dedicated support team. Here’s what you’ll cover:

  • Orientation module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Course Module 1 Your story
  • Course Module 2 Researching your story
  • Course Module 3 Writing biographies
  • Course Module 4 The first-person narrator
  • Course Module 5 Characters
  • Course Module 6 Preparation for the writing interval

Four-week writing interval

  • Course Module 7 Story review
  • Course Module 8 Writing descriptions
  • Course Module 9 Dialogue
  • Course Module 10 Starting the story
  • Course Module 11 Concluding
  • Course Module 12 Preparing for publication

Earn a certificate from Penguin Random House

On completion of this course you earn a certificate as powerful proof of your new competencies and use it to set yourself apart from the rest and get recognised in the job market.
Disclaimer: The visual representation of the certificate here serves as an exemplar, and may be subject to change at the discretion of Penguin Random House.

Your teaching team

At GetSmarter, we improve lives through better education. One of the ways that we achieve this is by bringing rich industry context to an academic environment through our expert facilitation and engagement. We work with university faculty and industry experts to provide a practical, industry lens on the world's leading university subjects.

Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with a Course Consultant here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Manager who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Manager, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.

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