Girls Horse Club Blog

Writing Non-Fiction

Published by • May 28th, 2011 • Category: LeadMare Tales

From the Horse's MouthGeneral submissions are open, and we hope to give our readers some great content to feed their love for horses! To help encourage more variety and originality, let’s talk about non-fiction…

BE ORIGINAL  & TRUE. Non-fiction can be challenging and many authors struggle with how to make it original, particularly when writing something that incorporates fact and learning from other sources. Here are some tips to help get you on the right trail:

  • Read articles with information to help inform your topic, but as you’re reading don’t make any notes. Just focus on absorbing the information. Once you’re done reading the article, set it aside, grab a notepad and jot down what you learned from the article. When you’re done with your notes, refer back to the article to assure facts are correct, but don’t copy any phrases or sentences from the article unless you intend to include a quote, in which case you must cite the source.
  • Whether you put non-fiction source info in your own words or not, include a link or reference to your source. When submitting to GHC, simply include a link adjacent to the text that’s taken or adapted from your source and editors will take care of formatting the link in your text. This is important because if you include text from another website and don’t acknowledge that the work was written by another author, it’s plagiarism. For examples of how to acknowledge sources, check out The Truth About Horse Slaughter: Part II and Wild Mustangs: The Words in Their Eyes.

GET PERSONAL. Non-fiction also includes personal stories and opinions (aka editorials), some of which are more dramatic than any fiction we might concoct in our heads! It’s much easier to write from personal experience.¬† Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Write about the biggest challenge you faced when learning to ride or work with horses, and how you overcame that challenge.
  • Were you successful getting your parents to allow you to take riding lessons and/or attend a horse camp? Tell us how you did it!
  • Do you watch horse videos on YouTube? Compile 3-5 of your faves and write a paragraph or two telling us what you love about each video. The videos can be entertaining (LOL Patches), inspiring (love Stacey Westfall) or informative (learn How to Groom a Horse). Include links to each video with your submission.
  • Do you follow current events in the equestrian world? Be our on-the-hoofbeat journalist and tell us, in your own words, about interesting events.

Got tips or non-fiction writing ideas? Please share in the comments!

13 Nickers »

  1. I’ve actually got a few non-fiction pieces planned out, and am planning on working on them today. How long are submissions open, Leadmare!

  2. Champion… Ive got a few ideas. Leadmare does this mean you’ll publish more fiction though?


  3. Toppyrocks, we don’t have a timeline for open submissions right now, but hope to keep them open for much of the summer.

    HorseFeathers, we’ll publish the best of the best in all genres, with an emphasis on variety and originality.

  4. Thanks, Leadmare. This helped me alot! Have a few ideas running around in my brain now!

  5. Kool. I tried writing some…(kinda outta my comfort zone) hoping I did alright. Lol.

  6. Perfect! I think I have an idea or two and I’m usually pretty good at non-fiction.

    Good call on this one LeadMare. I guess we were stuck in a rut for a while there, weren’t we…


  7. Aaaaaaaahhh! I missed GHC so much it’s not funny anymore :O

    I loovee reading non-fiction entries.. I can’t wait to read y’alls submissions.. I might even submit one myself if I find the time!

    Leadmare, long time no talk! How are ya? GHC seems like it’s running better than ever :)

    Girls, all of y’alls talent is impressive. Keep up the amazing work :)


  8. Wow!! Great! I’ve got a great story about this one time while I was riding once… I’ll see if I can get it together! :D

  9. I had a whole blog written out, and I pressed the preview button and it disappeared! What happened?? I didn’t have it saved, so now I have to write it all over again and it took me an hour!

  10. Sorry to hear that Gypsy Vanner. In the Submission Guide we advise you to keep a copy of everything you submit — always write and save on your local computer.

  11. yeah I use Word to write my blogs and poems so its always saved:) I’m almost done with my blog and I’m done with my poem I’ll be submiting it VERY soon!! :D

  12. Hey leadMare, should i submit my work and put a picture in the gallery or should i put my picture in my work. any advise?

  13. zikzik, if you have an image you want to include with your a story submission, just note it in the “Image Title” field something like “this goes with my blog submission titled…” and include the title of your blog submission. If it’s just for the gallery, you don’t need to include any special instructions. Hope this helps clarify!