by Tegwyn Hughes, Canada Blogger jaBlog!
Most writers have a soft spot for writing fiction. Not only is it incredibly fun to create your own worlds, characters and even languages, it doesn’t require research to be amazing. Non-fiction, on the other hand, asks a writer to do as much research as possible on the subject of their choosing. This is where some writers, especially young writers, balk at such a challenge. But writing non-fiction is good for you.
Writing non-fiction can be fulfilling. Writing non-fiction allows you to tell the world about a subject you are passionate about. I, for example, adore art history, and found myself fascinated by the french painter Claude Monet. It was tough for me to find an outlet for this obsession because my friends aren’t really interested in learning about how Monet’s work coined the term “Impressionism,” so I took to the Internet instead to share my information.
I wrote essays about Monet’s life and sometimes posted them on my blog. This let me tell others about something I am passionate about in an environment where people had the same passion. If you have a topic you care deeply about, but feel like your friends and family aren’t as interested, nonfiction writing may be the solution to your problem.
Writing non-fiction can open doors. A professional non-fiction writer finds many opportunities that a fiction writer might not. An writer who is researching a certain place or region will likely get the chance to visit it, which enables them to use their experiences in their writing, and meet the people who work or live in the area being written about. A lot of environmental non-profits who want to get the word out about their cause will also sponsor non-fiction writers to write about a certain topic. Not only can non-fiction writers earn money this way, they can also help to make other aware about important world issues.
Young authors like us can still get these opportunities in our communities or online––by blogging for Laura Thomas Communications, I’m a regular non-fiction writer, and I love it.
Writing non-fiction can boost your grades. Writing non-fiction can, believe it or not, help you in school. It hones your research, time management and organizational skills, all of which are vital to a good mark in any subject. As you go through high school and college or university, you will be asked to write more and more essays. If you have already had practice writing about subjects you care about, when the time comes to write about a topic you hate, you will at least have the necessary skills to make writing a killer essay easy.
One more thing. If you’re looking for a contest where you can practice writing non-fiction, challenge yourself as a writer, and maybe even earn some money, and you are a grade 10 or 11 student in Canada, look no further than the Government of Canada History Awards. The prize is $1,000 for a non-fiction essay about Canadian history. The date for submissions is April 17th, 2015. The essays will be judged harshly, and will be checked for five components of a good essay; relevance, research, quality, critical thinking, and accuracy. About one in four applicants are awarded the cash prize––225 awards of $1,000 are handed out each year.
Editor’s Note: We are always looking for non-fiction pieces on the art and craft of writing to publish in jaBlog! Please see our submission guidelines for details.