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Self Editing Non Fiction

October 14 @ 7:00 pm November 18 @ 9:00 pm

Self Editing Non Fiction

“I thought I could already edit pretty well but Xanthi’s experience and the canny way in which the course was presented really opened up new possibilities. I now feel very confident that I have exactly the tools I need to edit my work. I am actually deeply surprised that so much could be learned about this! All in all an excellent course that did exactly what it said it would plus, unexpectedly, so much more too!”

Self Editing Non Fiction participant Autumn 2023

Editing is a fundamental tool in the writer’s arsenal, but how do we edit our own writing effectively? How might we apply traditional editing principles to increase our chances of success if we aim to submit our writing to agents or publishers, or direct to market? Join Self Editing Non Fiction (the only course of its kind specifically designed for writers of narrative non fiction) and hone your skills with the UK’s longest-standing editing consultancy, alongside fellow writers in a supportive environment.

Using a mixture of theory, close reading, and practical exercises, this TLC Course, led by author and creative writing tutor Xanthi Barker, will take you through the fundamentals of self-editing for non fiction.


✅6 weeks
✅12 hours of live teaching, online
✅One-to-one for every student
✅A suite of digital resources
✅Includes consideration of self care
✅Maximum 12 writers per group
✅Teaching draws on TLC’s Ethical Editing principles, used by publishers

Dates: Mondays 14th October; 21st October; 28th October; 4th November; 11th November; 18th November

Times: 7pm-9pm (UK time)

“The TLC Self Editing Non Fiction course helped me to begin editing my book giving it emotion and details which adds interest and imagination. Xanthi Barker was an exceptional teacher and included all if they wanted to contribute, she was very positive and helpful helping us to look at our work from different perspectives.”

Self Editing Non Fiction participant Spring 2024

How it works

This six-session course will be offered online via Zoom. All sessions will be live, and we kindly ask you to ensure you can attend sessions and participate fully. A capacity limit of 12 writers per TLC Course allows for maximum interaction per cohort. Over a series of two-hour workshops, we will cover writing craft and elements of technique including structure, character, story, ethics and line editing, and consider how each of these can be approached and finessed when editing a full length of work of narrative non fiction. A full Curriculum can be found below.

All students will get the opportunity for a 30 minute one-to-one with the course tutor, and will also receive one year’s free access to TLC’s Being A Writer platform, worth £144. Graduating students will be issued with a certificate of completion, and you will have the option to access discounts on any of TLC’s professional editing and mentoring services.

To optimise your time and to help you get the most value out of this course, we will not be asking you to give peer feedback, and instead focus on teaching you the practical nuts and bolts of self-editing that you can carry forward into your practice and writing life.

This course is suitable for writers with works in progress and complete first drafts. We welcome memoirists and those writing creative non fiction. Unfortunately this course is not suitable for academic or business non fiction. Each session has its own take-home resource, yours to keep, with optional accountability tasks, journalling prompts, and reading suggestions.

“I have been on many courses and Xanthi delivered materials and tasks in the TLC Self Editing course that I hadn’t come across. She was thoroughly prepared and valued all contributions to discussions.”

Self Editing: Non Fiction participant 2023



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Self Editing Non Fiction (Standard)
Standard rate ticket
£ 450.00 +Vat
6 available
Self Editing Non Fiction (Concessionary)
Concessionary rate ticket
£ 399.00 +Vat
4 available

Your Tutor  

Xanthi Barker

Xanthi Barker is the author of Will This House Last Forever? a memoir about growing up with and grieving an absent father (published by Tinder Press) and the novelette One Thing (published by Open Pen). Her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies including Litro, Mslexia and Bare Fiction. She is the winner of The Short Story Prize 2017 and her piece ‘Paradoxical’ was highly commended in the 2018 Spread the Word Life Writing Prize. She lives in London and is a writer-in-residence for the charity First Story. 

Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction to Editing

What is editing? We look at some key concepts and definitions, and introduce the idea of self-care as an important principle for non fiction writing practice. We consider how journalling can help create new perspectives, and create the Ultimate Pre-Editing Checklist, to lay the ground for fruitful work over the coming weeks together.

Module 2: First Sweep: Macro   

In this session we look at principles of structure, content, and proportion, and apply them to our own writing. Using examples from published texts, we explore how non fiction writers play with form and manipulate timelines. Practical exercises reveal the key ingredients of our own stories, as a way to begin to articulate the shape into which they might best fit onto the page.

Module 3: Second sweep: Micro

In this session we look at principles of character and story, and apply them to our own writing. We explore the paradigm of character-writing for non fiction (how do you fictionalise the ‘I’ of a memoir?) through looking at different theoretical frameworks used in a range of contemporary creative non fiction texts. We also consider concepts of time, place, and salience.

Module 4: Ethical (Self) Editing

In this session we consider the ethics of (self) editing in non fiction, with a focus on memoir. Practical exercises help us to explore how this intersects with our writing projects, as we consider the impact, effect, and the importance of a writing practice that prioritises radical empathy. We also look at how writing and editing impacts us personally, and identify how to find time for self-reflection and self-mentoring.

Module 5: Final Polish

In this session we look at principles of tone, style and voice, as we look at how we approach the finishing line of self editing. We learn how to become more attuned to your own most authentic voice, and practice the art of line editing in order to find the sweet spot between under- and over-editing. Top tips help make our learning stick and we complete our final accountability task for the course together.

Module 6: The Finish Line  

In this final session, we consider how to know when the writing is ‘done’ and ready to go – what should we be looking for, and what do we need to be vigilant about in this critical final stage before we let our writing find its way in the world? We will also look at best practice for pitching our non fiction work to the industry, and consider how to keep ourselves feeling safe when submitting personal writing to unknown readers. Finally, we consider how to stave off those pesky post-task blues, so you are ready to let your super-charged, beautifully edited writing fly, and start afresh with something new!


Format: Zoom and Circle. A stable internet connection is recommended. Video participation is encouraged. All sessions include short comfort breaks 

Captions: Automated ( Live Transcript available 

Materials: Materials can be made available in advance or after the session on request. Any shared screens will be audio-described by the tutor. No flashing images will be used at any time

Bursaries: 1x full bursary available, 1x 50% bursary available. Please apply with a short covering letter telling us why you are applying to  with the subject header ‘Bursary [Full/50%], Self Editing NON FICTION’ by no later than 9am September 30th.

Other: We invite any access requirements not covered here to be sent to us at least 10 working days’ clear of the start date by email.

£399.00 – £450.00

0203 751 0757 (please dial extension 800)

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