An Introduction to the Memoir
12-week online writing course begins Tuesday 4 May.
Do you want to tell your own story? Life stories have resonance for others and are a gift to be shared. In this course, led by award-winning writer Lucy Hughes-Hallett, you’ll gain the confidence to write your own story, develop an understanding of how memoirs are put together, and the ways shame and taboo might hold you back from writing.
You’ll be exposed to a wide variety of memoirs told through a range of forms – from memoirs written in the first person, or even second-person point of view, to memoirs told in snapshots, experimental montage, and even graphic memoirs. A substantial portion of the texts used in this course will be written by non-professional writers, so, whether you’ve got previous writing experience or not, you’ll find work written by people easily relatable.
Classes are capped at 15 places to ensure a high-quality experience. Book quickly to secure your place.
This course is designed for writers aged 18+. If you’re looking for courses suitable for younger writers, check out these online workshops!
Special offer: All creative writing online courses include a free 12-week digital subscription to Granta Magazine!
What the course covers
- Why Write Your Story?
- Looking Back/the Reflective Voice (online discussion via Zoom)
- Shame vs Vulnerability
- Point of View and hybrid memoirs
- Being Ready to Write (online discussion via Zoom)
- Composition and Form (includes one face-to-face tutorial)
About your tutor
Lucy Hughes-Hallett is the author of The Pike: Gabriele D’Annunzio, which won all three of the UK’s most prestigious prizes for non-fiction – the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Duff Cooper Prize and the Costa Biography Award – and the Political Book Awards Biography of the Year. The Sunday Times has called it ‘the biography of the decade’. Her other non-fiction books are the acclaimed cultural histories Heroes and Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions. Cleopatra won the Fawcett Prize and the Emily Toth Award. In 2017 Lucy published her first novel Peculiar Ground – described by reviewers as ‘subtle’, ‘compelling’, ‘powerful’, ‘almost Tolstoyan in its sly wit and descriptive brilliance’ and a ‘wonderful book’. It has been shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. Her collection of short stories, Fabulous, was published in June 2019. Website
How it works
All you need is a computer and an internet connection. You can find out more about the requirements here.
The twelve-week course is divided into six fortnightly modules. Participants will analyse extracts from a range of memoirs – including graphics memoirs to memoirs told in snapshots, montage, and verse – before discussing them with the tutor and fellow students.
The modules are posted fortnightly. Every two weeks you will submit an assignment to your tutor, who will then respond with constructive feedback and advice.
Modules two and five will take place as live discussion held over Zoom. There will also be a one-to-one live feedback session, to have over the phone or via video chat and to be arranged with your tutor for module six.
This is a practical and engaging course with direct, expert tutor feedback.
Designed by the University of East Anglia and the National Centre for Writing.