What is the course about?
Students on this course will be given the opportunity to experiment with short, focused writing exercises on the theme of family. Students will be encouraged to share personal stories and will receive constructive feedback from other participants and the tutor. Model examples of writing about the family will be discussed alongside the emotional, psychological and technical issues of turning research into narrative. Issues such as who to focus on, how much detail to include, or whether fiction would work better than non-fiction will also be explored.
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.
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?
- The challenges of writing a family story.
- The required ingredients for a strong story about the family.
- How to make your story appealing to a reader.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand the ingredients of a strong family story.
- Draft family stories that will appeal to readers.
- Be able to apply constructive feedback to your stories.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course. Students will need to be able to write fluently in English and have some ideas about which family stories they might want to focus on in their writing.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through a mix of text analysis, tutor instruction, pair and group work, in-class writing exercises and constructive workshopping.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring writing materials - pens, paper tablet or laptop as suits your learning needs.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers a range of biographical and autobiographical writing courses. For further information, please browse the writing section of our website.