Apply for our 'scholarship' to take the next course for free!

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In a world growing more complex, unpredictable and confusing with every ticking minute, the need for facts, ideas and issues to be explained and made engaging is greater than ever. Study the principles of story design and tell stories which are hard to forget.

  • Join a growing number of journalists, documentary producers, educators and filmmakers who are learning the craft of non-fiction story.
  • Learn to tell stories which stand out and stick in peoples' minds on a crowded internet
  • Feel confident you understand how narrative really works once and for all
  • Discover the counter-intuitive techniques that make even the driest subjects surprising and fascinating.
  • Build a reputation for telling complex, layered and compelling non-fiction stories
  • Find solutions to story problems on your current projects


Apply for our 'scholarship' to take the course for free!

More details

We're refreshing the course over the summer and the course will relaunch in September 2014.

Journalists • Filmmakers • Podcast Producers • Web Video Producers • Communicators

Keen? Join the waiting list for the next course

Course outline

Week 1 - Ingredients of story

A high-speed introduction to the basics of telling a good story from start to finish. A perfect chance to get your head around how everything fits together.

  • 6 lessons
  • 5 exercises
  • 9 workbooks
  • 1 video

Week 2 - Professional Storytelling

We step it up a notch and study theme, structure, character and conflict in professional detail.

  • 5 lessons
  • 2 exercises
  • 8 workbooks
  • 1 video

Week 3 - The art of Story Design

The real gold: a week-long masterclass in applying classic narrative techniques to non-fiction stories, using story design to make them as compelling as possible.

  • 5 lessons
  • 2 exercises
  • 9 workbooks

Week 4 - Mastering story

Begin your journey as a remarkable storyteller in an age of great stories. We'll tie together the lessons from week 3, help you find the soul of your story and look at how narrative is changing. You'll also learn from the experts through two in-depth interviews.

  • 5 lessons
  • 6 workbooks
  • 2 narrative autopsies
  • 1 podcast

Who we are

Adam Westbrook

Course Tutor

Adam has researched and written all the material for the course. He began his career as a reporter and now produces web documentaries for publishers and NGOs around the world. His new project is using story design to make complex ideas compelling. He is the editor of Inside the Story Magazine, and Inside the Story collection which raised $4500 for charity in 2012. During the course you'll be able to interact directly with Adam as you learn how story works.

Marc Thomas


Marc has produced the course to be as elegant, user friendly and powerful as possible. Marc is a publisher and journalist, writing mainly about the arts and design. He is co-author of Connected: The power of modern community which was published by The Guardian in 2013.

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Need more convincing?

Note: representation only. All items delivered digitally.

How about a sample lesson?

To give you a better idea of what kind of thing you can be expecting, we thought you might like to see one of the PDFs. Here you go, it's on us.

Some questions you might have

How does the course work?

Story Design for Non-fiction lasts for four weeks. Each week day you'll receive an email with a short lesson and links to our extra workbooks and exercises.

How much time do I need to do the course?

We recommend setting aside 20-30 minutes a day to study all the material, a little longer to do the exercises. There are no obligations though, you can give the course as much time as you like.

Who is the course for?

We've built this course especially for people who use the web to tell longer non-fiction stories and who want to make their stories better. That means journalists (in all mediums), documentary filmmakers, podcasters, interactive designers, and could also include those who want to use the web to educate or inform others.

Who is the course NOT for?

Story Design techniques aren't practical for daily news or short form reporting. This isn't really applicable for fiction storytellers (novelists/screenwriters) - you'll find better courses for you elsewhere. And although marketers and businesses are using storytelling to enhance their messages, this course is not built with them in mind.

Is this a technical course?

Nope. We will not learn any technical skills such as shooting or editing video, podcasting or web design. We learn story in a universal way that applies to all mediums.

How much is it?

The standard price is $299 for everything. We also offer a limited number of early bird places at a discount price of $199.

And what about refunds?

We want to make this as easy as possible for you. If at any point before the course begins you change your mind, send an email and we’ll refund you in full, no questions asked.

Once the course has begun, you can bow out within the first five days for a full refund, again no questions asked.

And if for any reason the course doesn’t begin (there’s a technical disaster or I get abducted by aliens etc) then you will be entitled to a full refund as well.

I can't afford this!

If you're a student you might be applicable for our 'scholarship' - a free ticket to study the course. Click here to find out more.

Why is the course so small?

Because big isn't always best! We’re limiting the number of students because we want everyone to get the most out of the course. We’ll be able to respond to emails from students with in-depth advice very quickly, and even adjust the course to student demand.

Still not convinced?

How about just dropping us an e-mail. If you've got any questions, we'll do our best to answer them.

Send an e-mail