Memoir and Life Writing Memoir and Life Writing Memoir and Life Writing

Memoir and Life Writing

How to write a life – let alone your own? Spend three months in expert company, asking and answering the questions that a memoirist needs to answer.

Level

Improving

What do these levels mean?

Location

Online

Length

5-12 weeks
  • Time
  • Thursdays, 19.00–21.00

11
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£795

£795

£250 / month for 2 months and a £295.00 deposit

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Throw yourself into writing your memoir

Each session of this stimulating, deep-dive course will include timed writing exercises and group discussions on the topic at hand, whether that’s self, memory, or story. There will also be set homework each week of 1000 words maximum. Three members of the group, in rotation, will share their work with the group so that we can discuss successes, difficulties and how to move our work forward. One of the most informative ways of improving our own writing is finding solutions for others.

Over the course of three months, Miranda will lead sessions on planning, research, structuring and editing memoir and life writing, using short writing exercises that can be included as building-blocks within your own work in progress, plus workshops on individual students' writing. The course will also include a session with a Faber Non-Fiction editor.

Is this the right course for me?

This course is suitable for writers who are just starting out, and for those who wish to continue developing their work. You may have been considering your memoir for years, even decades – squirreling away fragments or working by yourself. Or perhaps you’ve always wondered about how to turn your ideas into a fully realised book-length work, but don’t know where to begin. Either way, you want to take your craft to the next level – and this course is the place to do it.

We'll use a comprehensive reading list in class to give a grounding for the discussion around memoir and writing. The suggested reading and Miranda's own A Book of Untruths are recommended to give us inspiration and a context for the ideas. A wider range of books will also be discussed as the course progresses to inform the projects students are writing.

Sample reading:
Alan Bennett – Untold Stories (Emotion & How to Hide It)
Augustine Burroughs – Running with Scissors (Memory)
Sujatha Gidla – Ants Amongst Elephants (Finding Your Voice)
Laura Cummings – On Chapel Sands (Structuring Story)
Maxine Hong Kingston – The Woman Warrior (Truth or Fiction)

Carmen Maria Machado – In the Dream House (Point of View)
Lemn Sissay – My Name is Why (Finding your Self)
Tara Westover – Educated (Ethics)
Svenja O'Donnell – Inge's War (Guest Speaker)

Please note: the subject matter of sessions as listed below is a guide only. The exact course content will be finalized according to the experience and interests of the group and guest speaker availability. The detail of the course content is at the discretion of the Course Directors and the Faber Academy.

    The course will take place on Zoom on Thursday evenings, 7–9 p.m.

Course Programme

Session 1

Thursday 13 January, 19.00–21.00

Introductory session

Session 2

20 January, 19.00–21.00

Finding your Self & is there a Split?

Session 3

27 January, 19.00–21.00

Truth or Fiction? A tenuous line.

See remaining sessions

Course Programme

Writing Poems

Session 1

Thursday 13 January, 19.00–21.00

Introductory session

The nature and scope of life writing. Learning where you are with your work and what you want and expect from the course.

Session 2

20 January, 19.00–21.00

Finding your Self & is there a Split?

Session 3

27 January, 19.00–21.00

Truth or Fiction? A tenuous line.

Session 4

3 February, 19.00–21.00

Organising the Self.

Session 5

10 February, 19.00–21.00

Who are your Characters?

Session 6

17 February, 19.00–21.00

What’s the Story?

Session 7

24 February, 19.00–21.00

Memory as brilliant, yet fragile resource.

Session 8

3 March, 19.00–21.00

Emotion & how to hide it.

Session 9

10 March, 19.00–21.00

Ethics & exploiting those you love.

Session 10

17 March, 19.00–21.00

We'll have a special guest tutor, TBC.

Session 11

24 March, 19.00–21.00

We'll explore aspects you wish to develop further, based on what has been achieved so far.

Session 12

31 March, 19.00–21.00

What Next?

Tutors

miranda-doyle-tutor-crop

Miranda Doyle

Miranda Doyle

It was an honour to meet Miranda and especially the group of bright, insightful and interesting women. Each of them had incredible stories to tell and I loved reading their work and hearing their contrasting styles.

Memoir and Life Writing

It was really so helpful to have Miranda's constructive feedback, help and advice on alternatives and solutions, and it always felt like a positive experience.

Memoir and Life Writing

Thank you, Miranda, for being an inspirational teacher. You have made me want to write and get the job done. Loved the Svenja O’Donnell talk. And what a nice bunch of people in that room each week.

Memoir and Life Writing

It was an honour to meet Miranda and especially the group of bright, insightful and interesting women. Each of them had incredible stories to tell and I loved reading their work and hearing their contrasting styles.

Browse the Reading Room

From author interviews and writing tips to creative writing exercises and reading lists, we've got everything you need to get started – and to keep going.