Biographical Writing BWR205

Learn to write biographies

  • Short or long
  • Profiles and obituaries through to books

Like any kind of writing, biographies require a clear structure. Investing time in planning will help you determine the structure of your work, define a theme or themes, decide on the necessary research and source materials, a general word count, and the best way to present your information.

As you work, it is important to remember that no two biographies are the same. Find what is uniquely interesting about the person you are writing about; and with that as your reference point, the structure, themes and everything else should start to fall into place.


There are eight lessons that make up this course; as follows:

1. Scope and Nature of Biographical Writing

The difference between a biography and autobiography.
Unauthorised biographies.
Using ghost writers in biographies.
Choosing your subject.
Biography vs. Memoir.
Researching a Biography.

2. Researching a Biography

Types of Evidence.
Using Evidence.
Fair Use.
Where to find evidence.
Conducting an Interview.
How to deal with conflicting sources and information.
Citations and Referencing.

3. Developing Context

Determining Your Theme.
Developing the theme.
Themes and Structure.
Using Context.

4. Short Biographies

Principles of the Short Biography.
Distilling Information.
Preparing to write from life experience.

5. Comprehensive Biographies

What makes a comprehensive biography comprehensive?
Writing a Great Biography.
Voice in Writing.

6. Planning a Biography

The Short Outline.
The Detail-Heavy Outline.
Outlining the biography.
Defining a theme, writing to a central theme.
Word Budget.
Organising Chapter Content.

7. Editing and Marketing a Biography

Writing a Sales Package.
The Publishing Process.
Publishing Processes for Ebooks.
Self-Publishing Your Work.
Distributing and Selling your Work.
Grants for Writing.

8. Project: Writing a Biography


Course Duration - 100 hours

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Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $726.00  1 x $660.00
B 2 x $396.00  2 x $360.00

Note: Australian prices include GST. 
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