At Beginners Guide to Writing we specialise in helping new and inexperienced writers get started writing in a range of nonfiction genres. We provide one-to-one and group support, an online writing community where you can exchange ideas through our writing forums, a variety of writing, editing and proofreading services and a selection of books, courses and regular blog posts.

Stuck for ideas - get inspiration from some unusual National days
August is traditionally known as the ‘silly’ season because of the more light-hearted and off-beat news stories which often appear in the press during
Should you stick to the facts in a memoir?
A memoir is a literary work but unlike fiction it has to be based on truth. This can sometimes be a problem because when we recall memories we don’t necessarily remember things
Write your life story on a postcard - why not give it a go
Life stories can be told in many different ways but typically they are written chronologically, starting with when and where you were born, where you went to
Autobiographies and memoirs - what's the difference?
The titles memoir and autobiography are sometimes used interchangeably but they are not actually the same. Autobiographies and memoirs are both written in the first
Clichés - why you should avoid them like the plague
Clichés are words and phrases that have been used so often they have ceased to have much impact. When they were first written they may have been original and colourful
What is social history and can anyone be a social historian?
There is a growing interest in the stories about the lives and times of ordinary people but whereas professional historians concentrate on the broader historical
Blogging your way to a book



Whether you want to write a full-length life story, a family or local history or shorter works such as a memoir, travel stories, nostalgic memories, etc., adopting a piece-by-piece approach
Opening sentence - use it to grab the attention of your readers
Arguably the most important words in a book are all contained in the opening sentence. But do you know why?
Although the title of your book or narrative
Writing for the nostalgia market - in print and online
If you have some nostalgic memories you would like to share, then read on to find what opportunities there are in writing for the nostalgia market.

Nostalgia isn't
Editing and proofreading - do it yourself with these free online tools
In addition to the variety of resources freely available online to help you get to grips with English grammar (see my blog Online English grammar
Nostalgia in a family history narrative - is there a place for it?
Can you be too nostalgic when writing a family history? Professional historians don’t really do nostalgia and sentiment. It is not their job to interpret
Create an outline before you start writing
If you are a new or aspiring writer you may not even have thought about why you should create an outline before you start writing. So, let me explain the purpose of an outline
Processing your oral history interview
Once you have successfully completed your interview you are ready for the next and final stage—processing your oral history interview.
Transferring your files
The first step is
Writing about the history of food
I have previously posted a couple of blogs on food writing – the first was about writing a Foodoir (a food-related memoir) and the other included some tips on creating your own family
7 quick tips on how to be your own editor
James Thurber is quoted as saying “Don’t get it right, just get it written.” But then what? Nobody, not even experienced writers get it right first time and so the next step after
Create a family photo book
If you don’t have the time or the skills to write a full-length family history or life story, one way of presenting and preserving your family history or the story of your own life is to create
Choosing a blog platform
In my blog Blogging your way to a book I included some reasons why writing regular blog posts is a great way of building up a book piece by piece. If you have been convinced (or at least tempted)
Write a blog post that tells a story by following these simple tips
It doesn't matter whether you are blogging your way to an entire family history, or the complete story of your life story, or any other non-fiction genre,
Frequently misused words - damp squib and other blunders
This blog is all about frequently misused words so let's start with Damp squib which I have used in the title. The correct phrase is Damp squib (when something
What are idioms and should you use them?
What are idioms and should you use them in your writing? The Cambridge Dictionary definition of idioms is ‘a group of words in a fixed order that have a particular meaning that

  • Have you always wanted to write about your life and experiences but lack the confidence to get started?
  • Have you been researching your family or local history and want to start telling the stories you have uncovered?
  • How about a memoir which focuses on food?
  • Are you a keen traveller with stories to tell?
  • Do you run a family or local business with an interesting history which would make a great story?
  • Are you an enthusiastic scrapbooker who would like to go one step further and start telling the stories behind your pictures and photos?

If you have answered yes to any of the these questions and you are a new or inexperienced writer, take a look at Beginners Guide to Writing for everything you need to get started writing.

Beginners Guide to Writing

At Beginners Guide to Writing we have a great selection of information products and courses plus regular blog posts to help you start writing in a variety of nonfiction genres from life stories, family histories, memoirs and autobiographies to local and social history, travel stories, foodoirs, scrapbook- and photo-journaling, nostalgic memories and company/corporate histories.

If you have already started writing, then check out our Writing and editing services . At Beginners Guide to Writing offer one-to-one help and support via phone, email, Skype (or in person if you live nearby). It doesn’t matter where you are in the world we can work together. We also provide editing and proofreading services and we run workshops for writers of nonfiction.

If you fancy seeing your stories in print we can advise you on the different ways you can go about this. For example, if you just want to print a few copies for family and friends you could use a print-on demand-service or you could turn your stories into an eBook which you could upload to a website or to Kindle or Amazon’s e-reader. Just let us know what you want and we will do our best to advise and help you.

Would you look to join a friendly and supportive network of writers without leaving the comfort of your own home? Then why not join in on one of our Beginners Guide to Writing  forums. You can ask for help or you can share your own experiences with like-minded people.