What is the course about?
This course coaches students on how to use their life story as a source for writing. Guidance will be offered on a range of approaches to narrative voice and structure.
Paul Laffan is the author of four novels, a book of reportage and has ghosted several works of autobiography. He holds a BA in English Literature from Oxford and an MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in English from Florida State University in America. He taught writing and literature for six years at Florida State, and has also taught at Birkbeck, Morley College, the Mary Ward Centre and Lambeth College.
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- Your voice and narrative voice
- Structure and Time Line
- Autobiography into Fiction.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify your individual strengths as a writer
- Critique and thereby improve your writing
- Participate constructively in a workshop setting.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no particular skills are required. You will be expected to write in class and to be willing to share your writing with other class members.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- Workshopping, ie sharing and discussing your writing.
- Discussing technical issues in the genre.
- Reading and discussing published examples of autobiographical writing.
- Outside of class you will be asked to read material provided and develop writing exercises.
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.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a notebook and pen or pencil with you to class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit runs a two-term 'Autobiographical writing' course, and experienced students can progress from there to 'Advanced autobiographical writing' and receive feedback on their works-in-progress.
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.