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Certificate in Autobiography Writing Online Course

Learn how to tell your own inspiring life story

Learn how to tell your own inspiring life story

Whether you have a person in mind, are looking for the right subject or are keen to tell your own inspiring life story, this great-value online Biography Writing Certificate teaches all you need to know about writing a great biography and finding an audience for it in the competitive UK market.

What Will I Learn?

The ability to write engaging, compelling content is at the heart of all writing. However, biography writing involves the extra challenges of finding a suitable subject and conducting extensive research and interviews before you even put pen to paper. This course guides you through how to do just that before ultimately writing a commercially successful biography.

Who is the Course For?

You don’t need to be a literature graduate or published writer to take the course, but you must have an interest in honing the creative writing skills you already possess into the skillset needed to make your subject’s story come alive. All study is undertaken online, meaning the course is ideal for people who need to fit their book-writing ambitions around their work and family obligations.


Work through the modules to learn what it takes to make it as a biography writer.

  • In the introduction learn about what biographical writing is and the basics of what to include in a biography.
  • Explore the tools and personal skills you’ll need to be a successful biographical writer, the pros and cons of working from home as a writer and how to conduct great research and convert it into a compelling read.
  • Learn how to identify your target audience and how the biography genre fits into the bookselling market.
  • Explore the crucial area of interviewing your subject including tips for a meaningful interview, how to bond with your interviewee and some ideas for great questions.
  • Gain an insight into different methods of biographical research to gain true and accurate source material that your readers will engage with.
  • Look at the process of deciding a subject, formulating a research plan and a following a basic biographical writing framework.
  • Explore techniques for making your biography more interesting and entertaining without compromising the facts.
  • Find out about ways to make both the facts and your writing style flow with a focus on the importance of drafting.
  • Learn how to gain confidence as a writer and banish writer’s block.
  • Practise quick and easy writing exercises that will get the creative juices flowing.
  • If you have a compelling life-story of your own, learn how to turn it into a successful autobiography.
  • Learn about routes to publication including the increasingly popular route of self-publishing.


  • Progress at your own pace, on all your devices at a time and in a place that suits you.
  • Access to the 15-20 hours of course content is for 12 months, meaning you can recap your learning whenever you like.
  • Technical support is available, should you run into difficulties.
  • Each module takes between 40 and 90 minutes to complete, making study easy to fit into your day.
  • Completing the course is a time and cost-effective way of gaining the skills to make your biography writing ambitions a reality.

Start chapter one of your biography writing success story by signing up to the Biography Writing Certificate today.

Course Fast Facts:

  • Easy to follow and understand
  • Delivered 100% on-line and accessible 24/7 from any computer or smartphone
  • You can study from home or at work, at your own pace, in your own time
  • You will be awarded a Certificate of Completion of this course

Course Delivery
Upon enrolment an automated welcome email will be sent to you (please check your junk email inbox if not received as this is an automated email), in order for you to access your online course, which is Available 24/7 on any computer or smart mobile device.

Recognition & Accreditation
All students who complete the course receive a downloadable certificate of completion.

Introduction to Biographical Writing

  • What is biographical writing?
  • Why pursue biographical writing as a career?
  • Why pursue autobiographical writing?
  • The basics of what to include in a biography

What do you need to Become a Good Biographical Writer?

  • What tools you'll need to become a biographical writer
  • What personal skills a biographical writer should possess
  • The upsides and downsides of working from home as a writer
  • How to conduct great research and turn it into something interesting to read

Be Guided by the Best – a Look at other Successful Biographical Writers

  • William Shawcross, journalist and biographer of the Shah of Iran and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
  • Norman Mailer, novelist, playwright and Pulitzer Prize winning biographer of Lee Harvey Oswald
  • Robert Lacy, British historian and Royal biographer
  • Andrew Morton, sensational biographical writer of Diana: Her True Story

Identifying Your Target Demographic

  • General tips on how to identify your target audience
  • Why readers love big biographies
  • Reasons why people should read more biographies, that may help you consider your target audience
  • Where biographies are in the leading book genres

Interviewing and Working Closely with Your Subject

  • Tips for a meaningful biographical interview
  • Thoughts to keep in mind when conducting a life interview
  • How to bond with your subject through their ancestors
  • Some great biography interview questions - beyond the obvious

Undertaking Accurate and Thorough Research

  • Different approaches to biographical research
  • What to look for in a good biography - and what your readers will query
  • How to conduct thorough research
  • Getting it right - the importance of truth and accuracy

Planning the Full Biography

  • The process of deciding a subject
  • Formulating a research plan
  • The steps to writing a biography - getting everything in order
  • A basic biographical writing frame to elaborate on

How to Make Boring Facts Seem More Interesting

  • Easy tips on how to fix a bad biography
  • Why your subject's life story can seem boring, and how to make it better without embellishing the truth
  • How to prevent boring your readers to sleep
  • Considering the factors that could make your writing dull to read

Ensuring the Best Flow from Start to Finish

  • The key ingredients to make your writing flow
  • Drafting a fluid outline or biographical sketch
  • Great transition words to ensure your writing isn't choppy
  • Structuring your biographical details for flow and consistency

Improving Your Confidence and Sense of Purpose as a Biographical Writer

  • How to build your writing confidence
  • Secrets for writing with confidence
  • How to overcome writer's doubt
  • Tips for writing with a sense of purpose

Practical Writing Exercises in the Biography Writing Niche

  • A miniature biography writing outline
  • A quick and easy autobiographical exercise
  • Choosing a brief biography and identifying how you could elaborate on it
  • Simple writing exercises to get you thinking

Tackling Your Own Autobiography

  • What an autobiography is and what should you include
  • Ideas for getting started with your autobiography
  • Organising your details and what you must consider
  • Tips for making your biography more exciting

Dealing with Publishers and Selling Your Biography

  • Publishing methods to consider and accumulating validation

  • Whether you should consider the self-publishing route
  • What to do if you get rejected and common reasons manuscripts are rejected
  • Taking steps towards self-publishing or publishing online, along with several top tips for self-publishing

Entry requirements

Students must have basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Minimum education

Open entry. Previous schooling and academic achievements are not required for entry into this course.

Computer requirements

Students will need access to a computer and the internet.

Minimum specifications for the computer are:


  • Microsoft Windows XP, or later
  • Modern and up to date Browser (Internet Explorer 8 or later, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)


  • OSX/iOS 6 or later
  • Modern and up to date Browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

All systems

  • Internet bandwidth of 1Mb or faster
  • Flash player or a browser with HTML5 video capabilities(Currently Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

Students will also need access the following applications:

Adobe Acrobat Reader

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Course Summary

Course ID No.: 006ECAWC
Delivery Mode: Online
Course Access: 12 Month Course Access
Time required: Study at your own pace
Qualification: Certificate of Completion