Advanced autobiographical writing

Course Dates: 27/09/24 - 06/12/24
Time: 14:45 - 16:45
Location: Keeley Street
A supportive workshop for more experienced writers of autobiography who are ready to push their practice, explore new techniques and further develop their authorial voice.
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Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £249.00 Concession £125.00
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Advanced autobiographical writing
  • Course Code: HW533
  • Dates: 27/09/24 - 06/12/24
  • Time: 14:45 - 16:45
  • Taught: Fri, Daytime
  • Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Nick Barlay

Course Code: HW533

Choose a start date  

Fri, day, 27 Sep - 06 Dec '24

Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Any questions?
or call 020 4582 0415

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre 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.

What will we cover?

The course has an emphasis on work-in-progress, with time devoted to workshopping, but will also include, depending on participants’ interests, some or all of the following:
- Further developing your authorial voice.
- Exploring different sources of autobiographical writing
- Exploring the themes and organisation of your writing.
- Developing fictional techniques to dramatise and structure your writing, including character development and setting
- Use of memorabilia where appropriate.
- Issues raised will include self-exposure, betrayal, and confidentiality.

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.

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

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.