Writing a memoir: an introduction
Time: 18:45 - 20:45
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW540
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
Do you have a story to tell that will move, delight, stir and inform readers? This course guides students in planning and crafting a memoir. Students will explore both the language and structural elements of writing a memoir.
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?
- Where to start your story.
- Which segments of the story to include in your memoir.
- Language techniques that work well in the genre.
- Structural techniques that work well in the genre.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Select an appropriate starting point for your memoir.
- Develop an engaging opening to your memoir.
- Select appropriate material for subsequent chapters.
- Understand language and structural techniques that work well in the genre.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Although this is an introductory course, it would be useful for students to have working knowledge of language techniques used in creative writing.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Students will be guided through a mix of pair work, group work, formal instruction from the tutor, writing exercises and workshopping.
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.
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?
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offer a range of creative non-fiction courses that would enable those writing a memoir to further develop their skills. Browse the writing section of our website for further information.
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.