This Is Your Life 1 :

A six-week memoir &

life writing course

Week 1 An introduction to memoir and life writing

We will look at the history of the genre; at motive and why we write memoirs; at different types of memoir; and we will ask, why write about your life? Followed by a writing exercise.

 

Week 2 Method in Journal Writing

The use of diary, fragments, emails, notes, notebooks.

Followed by a writing exercise and discussion of any submitted work.

 

Week 3 Point of View

Who will tell your story? Your childhood self? Your adult self? A range of voices? What is the prism through which you are looking at your self? It may be a life change, a trauma, a loss. How do you choose your point of view?

Followed by a writing exercise and a discussion of any submitted work

 

Week 4 Bearing Witness

How reliable are factual accounts of past events? When does fact become fiction? What is the role of memory in life-writing, and what are the risks?

Followed by a writing exercise and a discussion of any submitted work.

 

Week 5 Confessional writing: when less is more

Can personal stories be universal ones? If not, why not? What are the do’s and don’ts of writing a compelling memoir?

Followed by a writing exercise and a discussion of any submitted work.

 

Week 6 What is said, and not said

A consideration of what to leave out of a memoir and a consideration of the ethics of life writing, the responsibility of the author and the nature of truth.

Discussion of any submitted work.

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