Non Fiction Writing - Getting to the heart of your story with Dr Sian Prior


Whether you’re writing a memoir, a media release or a newsletter article, you need to do more than produce a faithful description of ‘what happened’. To craft an engaging piece of writing, you need to find the ‘story’ at the heart of the 'situation'.

Whether you call it finding an angle, offering an insight, or arriving at a poetic truth, it’s a task that requires structure, discipline and an empathy with your readers. In this hands-on course, Sian Prior, author of the critically-acclaimed memoir 'Shy - A Memoir' will cover how to convert a bunch of facts into a gripping tale to grab your audience. 

Course content

  • How to tell the difference between the ‘situation’ and the ‘story’ in non fiction writing.
  • How to identify the ‘story’ in your own personal and professional writing projects.
  • How to identify and describe vivid ‘characters’ to convey the ‘story’ in your writing.
  • How to choose the most appropriate ‘voice’ with which to tell your story.
  • How to ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’ a story to your readers.

Ideal for

  • Anyone who needs to write about events, topics or stories for websites, social media platforms, company publications or any other medium.
  • Creatives committed to higher communication standards in non fiction writing.
  • Anyone who wants to improve their writing skills and bring their writing to life.

Important Information

Please be advised that the content of this course is covered in the longer courses also run by Sian Prior: Feature writing and Creative Non Fiction Writing

More information


Students will refine their story-telling skills by developing a deeper understanding of the key ingredients of engaging non fiction writing. They will be able to differentiate between the ‘situation’ they are describing and the ‘story’ they want to communicate to their readers. They will be able to identify the universal elements in their story in order to broaden its appeal to readers, followers and customers. 


Students must be 18 or over and should have an interest in writing non fiction.

Materials supplied

All other relevant course materials are included.

Materials to bring

Pens, paper and/or laptop for writing exercises. You will be sent pre-course reading to complete. 

Optional but desirable: A personal or professional project for work-shopping (an extract of up to 1500 words) that you are already working on. 


Participants will be awarded an RMIT Statement of Participation.

Additional notes

Dr Sian Prior is a writer, broadcaster and teacher of non fiction writing. She has worked as a journalist for 25 years and taught writing at RMIT for over a decade. She also runs community writing workshops and mentors individual writers. Sian has a PhD in Creative Writing and her critically-acclaimed memoir ‘Shy’ (Text Publishing) was published in 2014.


  • Thank you! This has exceeded my expectations. The content was great and I feel like I'll be able to apply what I've learnt - which is what you want! Eloise

    I was super excited to learn but super nervous to be thrown in the deep end and write 'on the spot'! No need, Sian was great! Engaging, knowledgeable and not remotely scary!!! Jessica

    The facilitator was excellent and the other members of the group were intelligent and fun. Katherine

    Great content, discussion, perspectives and some very useful take-aways for future writing. A great welcoming class atmosphere - loved the group discussions. Stephanie

Printable course flyer

Available course dates

Saturday 07 September 2019

  • Code S345330
  • Start date 07.09.19
  • End date 07.09.19
  • Hours 6
  • Campus City
  • Fee $365.00
Enrol now
Session  Start  End Hours
Sat 07.09.19 10:00am 05:00pm 6.00

Thursday 28 November 2019

  • Code S345330
  • Start date 28.11.19
  • End date 28.11.19
  • Hours 6
  • Campus City
  • Fee $365.00
Enrol now
Session  Start  End Hours
Thu 28.11.19 10:00am 05:00pm 6.00

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