Online Writing Day: Non-Fiction | Crafting the perfect proposal | Arvon
Online Writing Day: Non-Fiction

Online Writing Day: Non-Fiction

Crafting the perfect proposal
  • James Spackman Arvon Tutor
    James Spackman
Date Friday September 27th 2024, 10:00 - 16:00 BST
Location Online

Non-fiction projects are bought and sold ‘on proposal’, but what exactly does that mean? What goes into a proposal, what doesn’t, and what else do you need to provide when you’re trying to get your book represented and published? Whether you’re writing memoir, history, travel, nature or anything else factual, your tutor James Spackman, a veteran publisher and literary agent (and the industry’s pitching expert – ‘The Book Pitch Doctor’), has all the answers. He will explain all the essential elements of a strong and persuasive non-fiction proposal, talking through the industry’s established format in detail, explaining how every element functions and how you can use it well. On the day, in lively and interactive workshop sessions you’ll construct your proposal section by section, honing a one-line summary, a longer description which explains, intrigues and sells, an author biography which positions you well (without relying too much on your pets) and a market analysis placing your work convincingly in the commercial marketplace. Savvy tactics and a market consciousness are balanced with the need to be true to your work and your own goals. The course will be supportive, encouraging and enjoyable, with plenty of peer support and collaboration and a tutor who is highly experienced but also knows how to listen. You’ll leave with a clear idea of how to take your work through the steps towards publication, and a proposal you can be proud of.

Is this course for me?

Our one-day courses are aimed at anyone who is currently, or would like to begin, writing. They are often attended by:

All sessions of the day are delivered live via Zoom meetings, with the option of cameras off or on. We strongly encourage you to participate in the live sessions, but if you find yourself unable to attend on the day, it will be possible to watch the recordings of each session at any time over the course of the following month.

We have limited concession places available for this course (which are bookable through the usual booking process), as well as some fully funded places for those who cannot afford the concession rate. For more information please email

Online: £90

Concessions: £63

As part of our effort to increase participation in the arts, a limited number of 30% concessions are available for this course at checkout, as well as two fully funded places for those who cannot afford the concession rate. To request a fully funded place please email

We are committed to making our Arvon at Home programme accessible to as many people as possible.

Across all of Arvon at Home


Online Writing Day

How I Write

Online Writing Weeks and Evening Courses

Subject to funding/permissions (please contact for more details)

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See here for more access information.


On the Day

10-11.30 Morning workshop part one 

11.30-11.45 Tea break 

11.45-12.45  Morning workshop part two 

12.45-13.45 Lunch 

13.45-15.15 Afternoon workshop   

15.15-15.30 Tea break 

15.30-16.00 Final Q&A/next steps 



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