Biographical Writing BWR205 Online Course

Full Fee $595.00 incl GST - Best Value!
Payment Plan $800.00 incl GST
Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Qualification Certificate
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email

Learn to Write Biographies

A biography is the story of someone's life and can either extend for their whole life or just a specific period.  This course will give you the skills you need to write biographies and will answer your questions such as how to research for writing a biography, how do I plan a biography, how do I set the context and much  more.

  • 100 hours
  • Self paced flexibly study
  • 1-on-1 tutor support

Course Aims

  • Determine when, why, where and how biographies are written.
  • Determine sources of information and then acquire appropriate information for a biography.
  • To decide on the type of biography and context in which it should be developed, based upon researched information.
  • Write different types of short biographies to meet different purposes.
  • Analyse a life to determine the structure, style and content of a comprehensive biography that could become a small book, large book, or screenplay.
  • Plan a type of biography.
  • Determine how a biographical manuscript may be dealt with after writing is completed by the author; to produce and market a finished product.
  • Apply knowledge and skills developed throughout this course, to research and produce a biographical short story.

Detailed Course Outline

Each course is made up of a number of lessons or units.  Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online.

There are 8 lessons in this course:

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

  • 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

Developing Context

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

Short Biographies

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

Comprehensive Biographies

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

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

Editing and Marketing a Biography

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

Project – Writing a Biographical Story

  • In this final lesson, you will bring together everything that you have been learning to undertake research and construct a first draft of a biographical piece of between 2,000 and 4,000 words.

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.

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Course Tutor

Robert N. Stephenson

Robert N. Stephenson is a published author of 5 books and the publisher of 25 books for other authors through his publishing imprint. Over his career thus far he has had over 100 short stories published in 10 countries and a number of languages. For fourteen years he also worked as a literary agent for his own agency where he represented such authors as Tony Shillitoe and Christy Jordan. As a tutor he has worked with over 1500 students in the last 10 years and a number of which have gone on to develop careeers in writing.

Besides wining awards for his own writing he is also the runner up in the 2008 Pride of Australia Medal for his contributions to the development of writing in others. Robert ran Altair Magazine for seven issues before it stopped production b ut during this time he discovered several new writers who have gone on to do great things both in Australia and in the USA. As he says, writing is a journey and a conversation with a reader, may we learn to create together.

How It Works

1. Learn Online

Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.

2. Get Help & Support

Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.

3. Receive Certificate

Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay in installments?

Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

Can I study from anywhere in the world?

We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


Do I have to sit an Exam?

No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

Do you have set start dates?

There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.