Memoir and Life Writing


Saturday 3rd March

10.30-11.30am: Introduction to life writing and memoir; a history of the genre; what makes it different from autobiography; the narrative freedoms it affords. Illustrated with extracts.

11.30-12pm: Writing exercise: I Remember

Short break

12.05-1pm: Telling a story: the skills required of the life writer, from structure to setting

1pm – 1.45pm: Lunch

1.45pm-3.30: Point of View: Self, Point of View and Voice

A consideration of self and identity, how your choice of POV determines the tenor and shape of your memoir, and the process of finding your voice. Illustrated with extracts.

Sunday 4th March

10.30am 11.15am: Where to begin: a consideration of time, historical perspective and the relationship between past and present. Illustrated with extracts.

11.15 – 12pm: Writing exercise: Memory word bank.

A consideration of openings and how to start your own memoir.

12pm: short break

12.05 – 1pm: Fact and fiction: a consideration of the relationship between memory and fiction in life writing and the use of source material.

1pm-1.45pm: Lunch

1.45pm – 2.30pm: A consideration of the ethics of memoir and life writing; the responsibilities of the author; and the nature of truth. Illustrated with extracts.

2.30pm – 3.30pm: The role of dialogue in memoir and how to ‘remember’ it; a writing exercise using dialogue; the ten rules of life writing


For participants to take away: a reading list plus a list of life writing tips and recommended writing exercises to keep you writing