Do you have specialist knowledge that you’d like to share? Are you privy to historical secrets? Would you like to write your life story? ‘Your story will be worth writing, not for the variety or novelty of your life, but for the quality of your observation of it.’ Patti Miller, Writing Your Life.

Whether your aim is to entertain or educate, to tell your own story or someone else’s, your non-fiction work has to contain a compelling narrative, and you are required to hook your audience in the same way as the most suspenseful fiction. We’ve put together a fantastic programme to cover the most important aspects of non-fiction writing. As always, lunch is included, as well as tea, coffee, biscuits and cakes for the breaks.

Dominic Sandbrook is the author of seven books of modern history, and is best known for his books on Britain since the 1950s. He is a regular writer for the Daily Mail and the Sunday Times, and has written and presented many documentaries for BBC Two and BBC Radio 4. Before becoming a freelance writer, he used to be a university history lecturer. He is now a Visiting Professor at King's College London. He will discuss his research process, and how he renders publicly available facts into a narrative that is uniquely his own.

Zool Verjee – Blackwell’s Sales Manager. Zool will discuss current commercial trends in non-fiction and how Blackwell’s Books position and promote non-fiction to their customers, including hosting events for authors and working to promote authors and books with literary festivals around the country.

Kate Craigie – Editor at John Murray Press, part of the Hachette UK. She edits and publishes a variety of literary and commercial non-fiction, from history to popular science to memoir. Recently she has worked on the illustrated New Scientist book, The Brain, Jo Brand’s memoir, Born Lippy, and the final book from Stephen Hawking, Brief Answers to the Big Questions.

Helen Jukes is a writer, writing tutor and beekeeper. Her writing has appeared in many publications, including Caught by the River, BBC Wildlife, Resurgence, the Junket and LITRO. She tutors on the creative writing programme at Oxford University, and also works with the Bee Friendly Trust, a London-based charity founded by beekeeper Luke Dixon to promote our understanding of honeybees and help nurture sustainable habitats. Helen will discuss the techniques she employed to write A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings, a unique mix of natural history and a memoir of her experience as a novice beekeeper.