The Book Proposal

w/ Rebecca Giggs

Nonfiction can, in many cases, be sold to a publisher off the strength of a book proposal and a set of sample chapters. In this intensive, practical program you will be taught the essentials of putting together a solid working document to show to agents and publishers as a ‘proof of concept.’

25 June – 30 July 2022

3 x Saturday sessions 10am – 3pm,  6 x evening sessions 6.30pm – 8.30pm



Course fee: $ 1,200/$ 1,020 alumni

Building on the foundational skills of writing nonfiction – concept proofing, research and reporting, genre conventions, understanding personal connection to material, structure and form – this tailored program is designed to give you dedicated space to build a compelling and captivating book proposal.

Working with acclaimed nonfiction writer, Rebecca Giggs, you will have time and expert guidance to workshop strong sample chapters and a synopsis with genuine cut through. You will discuss the ‘hook’ of your book – and ensure this is the book that only you can write – and to reflect on what makes your project unique. You will develop a clear understanding of how your manuscript might fit in the marketplace and who its readers will be.

This course will cover foundational topics across two consecutive Saturdays, before moving to intensive workshopping over two consecutive weeks, to shape and finalise your book proposal.

This intensive acts as Writing Creative Nonfiction: Stage 2. Students who participate in this course, in tandem with Writing Creative Nonfiction: Stage 1, will have the first 2000 words of your manuscript  included in the Faber Writing Anthology, sent to publishers and agents across Australia and the UK.

Writers you'll be working with:

Rebecca Giggs

Rebecca Giggs is an author from Perth, Australia. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, Granta, and in anthologies including Best Australian Essays, and Best Australian Science Writing. Rebecca’s nonfiction focuses on how people feel towards animals in a time of technological and ecological change. Rebecca’s debut book, Fathoms: The World in the Whale, was…

Course outline

Day Session 1: Saturday 25 June, 10am – 3pm
Introduction to the book proposal
• Market context
• At what point in the project should I write a book proposal?
• Key components;
• Style of address and articulating expertise;
• Identifying readership;
• Outlining guiding questions and themes;
• Genre and sub-genre.

Day Session 2: Saturday 2 July, 10am – 3pm
Introduction to the book proposal cont.
• Two meetings to think about in refining your book proposal;
• Synopsis and overview;
• Inducing curiosity;
• Book structure: several different approaches;
• Chapter breakdown;
• Opportunities for marketing and promotion;

Two week Day Session break for reading/drafting 

Intensive workshopping sessions
Workshop Series 01 Evening 01: Tuesday, 19 July
Workshop Series 01 Evening 02: Wednesday,20 July
Workshop Series 01 Evening 03: Thursday, 21st July
Workshop Series 02 Evening 01: Tuesday, 26 July
Workshop Series 02 Evening 02: Wednesday, 27 July
Workshop Series 02 Evening 03: Thursday, 28 July

Day Session 3: Saturday 30 July 10am – 1 pm
• Where to now?
• Query letters and agents
• How to process feedback.

How to Apply

To apply you will need to submit, in a single document:

  • A brief 250 word overview of the project you plan to bring to class
  • A 250 word sample of prose from your work in progress

This process ensures that all applicants are applying for the course best suited to their needs.

Enter your application for The Book Proposal here.