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.
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.
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.