Advanced autobiographical writing
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW049
Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
The skills of autobiographical writing, including how to focus and craft your work. Insight into the sources of powerful autobiographical writing. Developing confidence in giving constructive criticism, and in using it to revise or edit your work.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Depending on the participants’ interests the course will include some or all of the following:
- Further developing your authorial voice.
- Exploring different sources of autobiographical writing eg dreams, fantasies and lateral approaches to self-
knowledge as well as conscious experience, thought and memory.
- Further developing the themes in your writing.
- Developing your use of fictional techniques to dramatise and structure your writing into something which will fully engage the reader.
- Use of memorabilia (eg photos, diaries, family, and official records) where appropriate.
- Issues such as self-exposure, betrayal, and confidence.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Write autobiographically-based work more effectively and confidently.
- Identify and appreciate some of the sources and issues around writing autobiographically.
- Provide sensitive, constructive criticism of others work.
- Evaluate, revise and edit your own work.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is an advanced workshop for writers fluent in spoken and written English who have an ongoing project of autobiographical writing. You should have previously completed an autobiographical writing course or be a fairly experienced writer.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through a mix of pair work, group work, tutor-led discussion, writing exercises, reading exercises and workshop.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring writing materials - paper, pens, tablets or laptop as appropriate to your learning needs. You may also need to bring copies of your writing for workshop.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
Nick Barlay is the author of four acclaimed novels and one book of non-fiction. He has written award-winning radio plays, short stories and wide-ranging journalism. He has previously taught fiction, life writing and Guardian Masterclasses on writing family history.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.