Autobiographical writing: an introduction
Time: 14:45 - 16:45
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW556
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
This introductory course guides students in the basic principles of autobiographical writing, including how to focus and craft your work. Whether you are writing for self discovery, testimony or to tell your story, you’ll learn how to make your writing evocative and powerful.
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:
- how to start writing autobiography
- exploring different sources of autobiographical writing eg dreams, fantasies and lateral approaches to self- kowledge as well as conscious experience, thought and memory
- how to find themes and other ways of unifying your work
- use of memorabilia (eg photos, diaries, family, and official records) where appropriate
- issues such as self-exposure, betrayal, and confidence
- selection of material
- the concept of truth or fact in relation to autobiography.
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.
- Evaluate your own work and offer some constructive feedback to others.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Suitable for people with some experience of creative writing, whether or not autobiographical. Some writing exercises will be set outside class and students are encouraged read their work out in class and feedback on the work of others.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Presentations by the tutor on particular topics
Writing exercises in class and suggestions for writing at home where appropriate
General discussion of approaches, issues and skills
Tutor and group discussion of your written work.
Most sessions will consist of a balance of teaching and students sharing and discussing their work.
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?
You should bring paper, and pens or pencils.
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.
Julie studied at the University of Essex, the Central School of Speech and Drama and Dartington College. She has written several plays for young audiences for, amongst others, the Unicorn Theatre for Children. She currently writes articles about landscape, heritage and nature. Julie won the 2014 British Czech and Slovak creative writing prize for her personal essay about the Czech Poet and dissident Ivan Blatny.
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.