Nonfiction Writing with Dr Sian Prior


6 hours




City Campus



Next Intake

To be determined


Whether you're writing a memoir, a media release or a newsletter article, learn how to craft engaging writing that will take your readers beyond ‘what happened', to the heart of your story. Whether you call it finding an angle, offering an insight, or arriving at a poetic truth, bringing a story to life requires structure, discipline and an empathy for your readers. In this hands-on course, Sian Prior - author of the critically-acclaimed memoir 'Shy - A Memoir' will cover how to convert discreet facts into a gripping tale that will grab your audiences attention.

Course content

  • How to tell the difference between the ‘situation’ and the ‘story’ in nonfiction 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.


There are currently no dates scheduled for this course. Please contact us or join our mailing list to express your interest in this course.

How to enrol

More details


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

Materials supplied

Materials required for the course will be provided. All relevant course notes are supplied with comprehensive instructions and exercises.

Materials to bring

Pen, paper and/or laptop for note taking. 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 1200 words) that you are already working on.

Suited to

  • 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 nonfiction writing.
  • Anyone who wants to improve their writing skills and bring their writing to life.


Students will refine their story-telling skills by developing a deeper understanding of the key ingredients of engaging nonfiction 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.

Upon finishing the course you will receive a RMIT Certificate of Completion. You can use this as a record to demonstrate the outcomes covered in the course.

Sian Prior smiling at camera in balck shirt

Facilitator: Dr Sian Prior

Dr Sian Prior is a writer, broadcaster and teacher of journalism and nonfiction writing. She has worked as a journalist for 30 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. 

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer