A Life Written with Sarah Passingham (6-week life writing course) – fully booked!
Are you age 70+ (or know someone who is) and would like to develop the skills to tell your life story?
‘A Life Written’ is a course of six weekly life writing workshops in which participants are guided through decisions, spark points and themes to help consider their own lives, acknowledge their own interesting experiences, and discover what it is they would like to tell others.
Using a combination of structured discussion, reading excerpts or examples, prompts and other exercises as well as opportunities to work between classes, we will:
- Ask ‘what is memoir?’ and explore the importance of deciding who we are, and learn different ways to recover memories.
- Reflect on the reasons that families create myths and how to take control of our own emotional truth.
- Dive into memories of food, clothes, travel and treasured possessions to have fun and experiment with our writing, together with a nod to how perception and the things we value might change throughout life.
Lastly, there will be a chance to try out strategies that can help mitigate or protect—ourselves and others—from unexpected reactions, while acknowledging that memoir may occasionally be uncomfortable for the author and for the reader.
The whole group will be encouraged to produce individual pieces of writing. At the end, you will be invited to submit an (optional) piece of writing to a published anthology, as a lasting record of your time on the course. You will be offered editorial support with your chosen piece with writer, Kate Swindlehurst, author of The Tango Effect.
The A Life Written anthology will be launched in early 2022 at Dragon Hall as part of a celebration event.
This project is funded by Anglia Ruskin University in partnership with the National Centre for Writing, and is looking at the impact that life writing has on older people’s wellbeing. As a participant you will be asked to give feedback about your experience and complete a programme evaluation.
There is a maximum of 12 spaces available on the course. Booking secures your place on all six sessions.
To join the waiting list for this course please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We have workshop and travel bursaries available for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend the course. Please get in touch via email@example.com with ‘A Written Life Bursary’ in the subject line. In the body of the email, please specify whether you require a workshop and/or travel bursary. For travel bursaries, please also let us know the location that you require assistance from/to and the mode of transport you are comfortable taking.
Places are limited to 12 to ensure social distancing. We have COVID health and safety guidelines in place for moving around the building and refreshments, including the wearing of masks which can be removed once sat in the workshop. The workshop will take place in a well ventilated room with spaced seating. We ask that anyone able to scans in via the Track and Trace app, and we will retain contact details for those who do not have smart phones.
About the tutor
Sarah Passingham writes non-fiction, short fiction, poetry, libretti, performance work and life-writing.
Following an early career as a London print designer and typographer, Sarah moved into professional entertainment, theatre and rock music. After twelve years creating and directing hundreds of events, she then published four books of event management for the voluntary sector.
Today, her writing concentrates on more creative themes. She is author of Hoad and Other Stories (2014) and an oratorio libretto. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in journals and anthologies including: Said and Done, The London Magazine, Stand Magazine, Fenland Reed and broadcast by the BBC. She is the short story columnist for Brittle Star magazine.
Sarah is a trustee of the SAW Trust, an organisation dedicated to the interdisciplinary approach to Science, Art and Writing.
Her latest book PUSH: My Father, Polio, and Me is a family memoir published by Gatehouse Press/Story Machine Publications. Website