Memoir and Life Writing (Newcastle) Memoir and Life Writing (Newcastle) Memoir and Life Writing (Newcastle)

Memoir and Life Writing (Newcastle)

You’ve got a story to tell – but how and where do you begin? Start developing your project in a supportive environment with expert guidance from writer and tutor Lucie Brownlee



What do these levels mean?




12 weeks
  • Start Date
  • Time
  • Thursdays, 19.00–21.00

Spaces left



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


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Throw yourself into writing your memoir

Each workshop will explore a different element of craft, from research, planning, and ethics to challenging memories and finding your own distinct voice. Sessions will incorporate lively discussion and timed writing exercises linked to each weekly topic. Peer feedback and the sharing of work are two of the most helpful (and admittedly daunting!) ways to develop and improve your writing. With this in mind, you will complete weekly homework of 1000 words maximum, which you will be invited share and discuss, in rotation, with the rest of the group.

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.

The sample reading list below is not exhaustive but serves as a starting point for the different topics we will be covering over the course. Students are encouraged to share their own favourite memoirs with the group as an addition to this list.

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. The detail of the course content is at the discretion of the Course Directors and the Faber Academy.

Sample reading list:

Amy Liptrot – The Outrun
Georgia Pritchett – My Mess Is a Bit of a Life
Rachel Cusk – A Life’s Work
Mikey Walsh – Gypsy Boy
Alexander Masters – A Life Backwards
James Frey – A Million Little Pieces
Kerry Hudson – Lowborn
Lemn Sissay – My Name is Why

    The course will take place at the Common Room (see below for the precise address) between 7 and 9 p.m.

Course Programme

Session 1

Thursday 29 June, 19.00–21.00

Introductory session

Session 2

6 July, 19.00–21.00

Motives and Motivation...

Session 3

13 July, 19.00–21.00


See remaining sessions

Course Programme

Writing Poems

Session 1

Thursday 29 June, 19.00–21.00

Introductory session

Why this course, why now? Bring along your favourite memoir and share why you love it.

Session 2

6 July, 19.00–21.00

Motives and Motivation

Confronting and coping with what might come up in the process of memoir-writing.

Session 3

13 July, 19.00–21.00


How and where to start ‘curating’ your story.

Session 4

20 July, 19.00–21.00

Fact or Fiction

The slippery question of ‘truth’ in memoir writing.

Session 5

27 July, 19.00–21.00

Ethics & Significant Others

You’re not just writing about you; you’re writing about other people too. We explore the legal and moral burdens inherent in memoir writing.

Session 6

3 August, 19.00–21.00

Writing Your Story: Where Will it Start?

(Hint: Not necessarily where you think it does!) What arc will it follow? Memoir versus autobiography.

Note that this session is followed by a week's summer break.

Session 7

17 August, 19.00–21.00

Points of View

First person or third person – how does our choice of narrative mode affect the telling of our story? Find an authentic voice for your memoir.

Session 8

24 August, 19.00–21.00

Whose Story is it Anyway?

Fleshing out your ‘support’ characters.

Session 9

31 August, 19.00–21.00

Digging Deeper

Exploring and challenging our memories.

Session 10

7 September, 19.00–21.00

The Beauty of the Editing Process

What to leave in and what to leave out.

Session 11

14 September, 19.00–21.00

Open session

An opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved so far and how it might be developed.

Session 12

21 September, 19.00–21.00

Next Steps

What next?



Lucie Brownlee

Lucie is a multi-award-winning writer based in County Durham. Her memoir Life After You was published in 2014 by Penguin Random House. Based on her award-winning...

More About This Tutor
Lucie Brownlee

I can’t think of anyone who is better at engaging, inspiring and encouraging [students] to explore their creativity. She’s warm, supportive, and great at explaining big ideas in a really accessible way for a range of participants. Highly recommended!

Becci Sharrock

Lucie Brownlee writes with enormous honesty and self-awareness.

Judy Finnigan, The Richard and Judy Book Club

I can’t think of anyone who is better at engaging, inspiring and encouraging [students] to explore their creativity. She’s warm, supportive, and great at explaining big ideas in a really accessible way for a range of participants. Highly recommended!


The Common Room

Neville Hall

Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE

About the Common Room

The Common Room is a new charity, formed to lead the restoration of Neville Hall in Newcastle. Their vision is to use their unique heritage to inspire the next generation of innovators and engineers. Through education and engagement activities, they will support the region’s future economic growth and provide a range of public spaces for innovation, collaboration, events, lectures, weddings and more.
We’re delighted to host our Newcastle courses in this historic venue.

Find out more

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.

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Announcing Faber Academy Newcastle
Writing Prickly Female Protagonists

Writing a Novel alumna Ania Bas on writing the main character of her debut novel, published earlier

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My Road to Publication… And What I Learned Along the Way

The author of Honey and Me (published by Scholastic Press) on how her book came to be

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