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

More details

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 nonfiction 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 nonfiction stories
  • Find solutions to story problems on your current projects


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

More details
Sorry we're closed!

We've now closed enrolment for the last Story Design course. Sign up to our waiting list to hear if we do it again.

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

Keen? Click here to sign up now.

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

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

Week 3 - The art of Story Design

The real gold: a week-long masterclass in applying classic narrative techniques to nonfiction 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.

We're closed!

We are no longer accepting participants for the course. But sign up to our waiting list to be the first to know if we run it again!

* indicates required

We will only inform you when a new course is open for enrolment, you won't receive any other related material.

Need more convincing?

Note: representation only. All items are delivered electronically.

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 $199 for everything. A simple one-off payment with no extra costs.

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.

Is the course interactive?

There are exercises scattered throughout the course and a library of stories to read, watch and analyse. At any point you will be able to email Adam to with questions, problems or suggestions.

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

What are people saying about Story Design for nonfiction?


"Still loving this! The pacing is great - I really feel I have a chance to digest each day's lesson."


"Learning so much with this course. Structure itself (story´s structure) is the meaning for me...Structure has made the complex easier to arrange, understand, sort, navigate, enrich, improve. Thank you Adam and Marc."


"This is really good...I’m in preproduction of a documentary film about our exploring of a flooded cave in northern Sweden. This really helps create and structure the film. Good job"


"The course cleverly fit into the full-time working schedule with an intimate group of 17 students across the world and diverse disciplines sharing the passion on stories. The collaborative nature of the group added so much to the course, which itself allowed the interaction amongst everyone."