Start Your Memoir Start Your Memoir Start Your Memoir

Start Your Memoir

Join celebrated memoirist and teacher Patti Miller to break down the barriers to beginning your memoir.

Level

i
Improving

What do these levels mean?

Location

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London

Length

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1-5 days
  • Start Date
  • Time
  • Monday–Friday, 10.00–16.00

14
Spaces left

£550

14 in stock

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Throw yourself into your story

This five-day intensive course will set you on the journey of writing your memoir or autobiography. In a creative and supportive environment, it offers ways of accessing memories and recognising their inherent shape, of finding your writing voice, of bringing the details to life, of creating the lived reality of your experience on the page and finding its structure.

You will also explore the difficulties of truth-telling, including the issues of the borderlands with fiction and the problem of self-indulgence. There will be some readings and discussions and lots of writing and workshopping, with individual comment on your work. It is skills-based and will encourage and extend both beginners and more experienced writers. The course will be based on the text Writing True Stories by Patti Miller, from Routledge.

Is this the right course for me?

Whether you're looking to write about your own life or someone else's, this course will explore the many possibilities the genre has to offer. You don't need to have taken any courses before but the course is also not designed for complete beginners and is best suited to students who have already experimented with some form of writing.

    This course runs for five days, from 10.00–16.00, at Faber's offices in London. Each day will be divided into two sessions: a morning session, a lunch break and a second session in the afternoon. Click 'See Remaining Sessions' to find more detail about each day.

Course Programme

Session 1

Monday 24 October, 10.00–16.00

Beginning ...

Session 2

25 October, 10.00–16.00

Observation, showing and telling...

Session 3

26 October, 10.00–16.00

Voice and truth...

See remaining sessions

Course Programme

Start Your Memoir

Session 1

Monday 24 October, 10.00–16.00

Beginning

What and why do you want to write. How to get started. Overcoming procrastination and making time. Openings – the many ways to invite your reader in.

The value of memory based writing. How to access memory. Other sources – research and interview. How to incorporate research material.

Session 2

25 October, 10.00–16.00

Observation, showing and telling

Observation based writing. How to write the detail, creating the lived texture of experience. How to access the senses.

The difference between showing and telling. How to recreate the three-dimensional feel of life.

Session 3

26 October, 10.00–16.00

Voice and truth

Voice – who is writing this book? Changing perspective. Closeness and distance in Voice.

The difficulties of truth-telling. Surviving truth-telling.

Session 4

27 October, 10.00–16.00

Invention and self-indulgence

Borderlands of fiction. Can you ‘invent’ anything in memoir?

Self Indulgence – all about me. Saving memoir from self-indulgence. How to widen the context.

Session 5

28 October, 10.00–16.00

Structure and narrative

How to structure. Organic structure emerging from material. Chronology, topics, themes, images, story. A way of working with structure

Narrative – how to find the story. How to structure a narrative arc. Plotting your life story.

Tutors

patti-miller-tutor

Patti Miller

Patti Miller is the author of ten books, three of which are writing texts: Writing Your Life; The Memoir Book and Writing True Stories...

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Patti Miller

Location

Bloomsbury House

74 - 77 Great Russell Street

London WC1B 3DA

Covid

While we hope this course will take place in our London offices as normal, we’re always monitoring the situation with COVID-19, both nationally and locally, very carefully. We have extensive Covid safety measures in place in Bloomsbury House and are continuously re-evaluating these according to and beyond current Government guidelines.

Should any change in situation regarding the virus require us to move a portion of your classes online, we now have both the expertise and the technology to do so without disrupting your experience with us. If we do need to pursue this option, using video-conferencing software and our bespoke virtual classroom, we will also offer a discount for the affected sessions.

Find out more about our Covid safety measures and refund policy here.

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.

Developing Characters During a Draft

Started a draft but unsure who your cast are yet? Here are some of our favourite exercises

Read More
Developing Characters During a Draft
Chasing a Sleep-Deprived Dream

Alumna Louise Morrish on the call that kickstarted her writing career

Read More
Chasing a Sleep-Deprived Dream
My Road to Publication

Academy alumna Sarah Clarke on getting her book deal, and the hope that kept her going

Read More
My Road to Publication

For more information, message us or call 0207 927 3827