Want to write about Native Americans, but concerned you’ll get it wrong?

That’s understandable. In a climate where even people of their own ethnic group are criticized if they don’t do things a certain way,  you’re left with little opportunity to uncover the insight you need to write quality, authentic stories about Native Americans.

I’ve stood in both worlds—as a writer who wants to tell a good story that accurately portrays Native people, and as an American Indian who has seen how the pillaging done by mainstream entertainment affects Native peoples.

But I’m here with an understanding heart for your challenges and a willingness to guide you through them.

I'm Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer, and as a tribal member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, I’ve written and published 15 historical fiction books with Native main characters, and over 275 non-fiction articles on Native artists and organizations with representatives from dozens of North American tribes.

I’ve been honored as a Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian Artist in Leadership fellow, and I’m a former First Peoples Fund Artist in Business Leadership fellow.

My online course, “Fiction Writing: American Indians,” was birthed from years of researching, writing, and teaching First American history, and experiencing the culture. Now I want to pass that on and equip you to write fiction that honors Native American history and culture.

The course takes you through a journey of respect and practical approaches to write accurate, sensitive stories that feature Indigenous peoples.

Once you’ve invested in the skills you need to author these stories, you’ll be able to stand behind every word you write about Native Americans.


Get started on the path of exploring meaningful ways to approach writing about American Indians. Enroll now and I'll see you inside the course!

Course price: $349. Payment option available.

You can authentically write about American Indians. Here’s how:

1. Enroll in the course.

This course is designed for beginning to advanced authors looking to write accurate stories featuring Native peoples.

2. Take it step-by-step.

Video content guides you through every module of the course, developing your ability to write stories that honor Native peoples.

3. Write your story. 

When you complete the course, you’re ready to write or revise your WIP (work-in-progress) from a whole new perspective.

Enroll now to get started on the path of exploring meaningful ways to approach writing about American Indians. 



Module 1:


What is the correct way to refer to the first people of the land? The many terms and how to use them correctly.

Lesson 1: "Indians"

Lesson 2: "American Indian, Native American"

Lesson 3: "Native, Indigenous"

Lesson 4: General Terms

Lesson 5: "First Americans," Preferred Terms

Module 2:

Historical and Present Day Issues

Natives have undergone hard historical and present-day experiences, and the impacts are still felt today. This module helps you understand several of those.

Module 3:

Appropriation vs. Appreciation

The problems with appropriation instead of appreciation often comes from a lack of information and education. Learn the differences and embrace ways of appreciation before you begin writing or revising your story.


Module 4:

Stereotypes — Identifying and Overcoming Them (multi-lesson module)

This module includes, yet greatly expands on, the ebook "5 Stereotypes to Avoid When Writing about Native Americans" with examples in today’s culture of continued stereotypes.

Lesson 1: Stoicism

Lesson 2: Writing Dialogue

Lesson 3: Indian Scout Syndrome

Lesson 4: Wise Guide

Lesson 5: Noble Savage

Lesson 6: Cartoon Indians

Lesson 7: Slangs and Slurs

Lesson 8: Skin Color

Lesson 9: Lifeways

Lesson 10: Native Spirituality

Lesson 11: Character Names

Lesson 12: Historical-only View

Module 5:

Advantages and Pitfalls in Resources

Here, we explore researching First Americans, but it's more than that. Your mindset and approach is as important as the material you’re consuming.

Lesson 1: Books

Lesson 2: Interviews

Lesson 3: Cultural Experts

Lesson 4: Legends and Lore

Lesson 5: Native Events

Lesson 6: Sacred Connections

Lesson 7: Historians, Museums, Archives

Lesson 8: Online Sources

Lesson 9: Native Name Spelling

Module 6:

Accuracy—The Vital Balance

As fiction authors, we make up a lot of stuff. Dialogue. Towns. Compressed timelines. But how should you approach “making up stuff” about Native characters and events?

Lesson 1: Based on True Events

Lesson 2: Fictionalized Characters and Plots

Lesson 3: Blending True and Fictional

Lesson 4: A Thread of True Inspiration


Module 7:

Becoming a Trusted Author

It takes time, diligence, and more, but you can become a trusted author of Native culture and history. I show you a real world example in this module.

Module 8:

Networking with Native Writers

We explore the reality of the challenge, but also practical ways you can approach building relationships with Native and non-Native authors.

Module 9:

Publishing Options

Traditional or independent publishing? What I chose and why, and what might be right for you.


Setting You on Your Own Path

Bringing it all together with final encouragement for you to write authentic stories that honor First American history and culture.