Maya Angelou wrote, ‘there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.’
We all have a story to tell and you'll learn how to write it on this course. Memoirs enable us to examine and articulate the memorable moments and events of our lives. Through writing and constructive feedback this course explores how to give form and shape to our major stories and turning points. In supportive sessions we will form a tight-knit group, exploring the nuances of life writing as a genre, examining the ethical implications, and gaining an understanding of the contemporary field.
All photography provided by Anna Derrig
The writing of your story can be cathartic, joyful or simply words well-written for public or personal benefit. Through inspiring and engaging workshops, we will explore how you can write your untold stories. You’ll learn more about yourself while practicing the creative techniques of fiction to frame your life story – from structure to voice and dialogue. We will also discuss how to write about others ethically, ideally with the consent of your subject(s). You’ll hear about the latest trends in memoir publishing and study contemporary writers such as Sigrid Rausing, Terese Marie Mailhot and Karl Ove Knausgaard. You will also learn how to read as a writer and to give and receive constructive criticism. You will be writing and reading between classes, when you will receive feedback from the tutor and the group.
We will form a strong group bond in which our individual writing can flourish. Group participation provides an atmosphere in which listening to and learning from others is integral. Within this mutually-supportive writing community, anything shared within the group is confidential. We’ll explore how to give non-judgmental, analytical feedback on the writing, not the writer. We’ll use a variety of techniques to get you started: writing exercises, group feedback, group and pair work, informal discussions, lecture-led discussion, reading lists, whiteboard and powerpoint activities and online resources, where appropriate. The course is adapted each term to meet your diverse needs as writers. You’ll come away with writing to work on for yourself, whether you want to build a portfolio for further study, enter competitions, or develop ideas as a foundation for a short or longer memoir.
Why Study this Course
Learn more about memoir and life writing as a genre, including the current trends within the field.
Become part of a vibrant and diverse community of writers.
Understand how to read like a writer and write like you’ve never written before.
Develop your self-awareness and self-evaluation as a writer, through listening to and giving constructive feedback on writing.
Find out more about publishing and trends in creative nonfiction.
Develop your awareness and critical understanding of the ethical issues surrounding memoir and life writing.
Consolidate your learning with peer feedback on yours and others’ writing.