This twelve-week course is for those with an interest in biographical literature, and who have long wanted to write about their own life or the life of someone important to them but have not yet found the way to do it.
We will read and discuss inspiring examples of memoir, biography, letters, diaries, travel and nature writing, autofiction and blogs, looking at the techniques the authors deploy to shape their material and bring their work alive. From this, through workshop exercises and class presentations, students will develop and refine their own writing skills in whatever form they choose.
By the end of the course, it is hoped that each student will have completed a sustained piece of writing of between 2500-5000 words: a springboard, perhaps, to something lasting and substantial.
The student number will be limited to 10, to enable ongoing interaction and tutor feedback. A list of readings and full timetable will be sent to students before the start of the course. Below is an indicative sample:
Diana Athill, After a Funeral
Sybille Bedford, Jigsaw
Sue Gee, Just You and the Page: Encounters with Twelve Writers
Penelope Lively, Ammonites and Leaping Fish
Rory Maclean, Stalin’s Nose: Across the Face of Europe
Priscilla Napier, A Late Beginner*
R. K. Narayan, My Days
Frances Stonor Saunders, The Suitcase: Six Attempts to Cross a Border
Rebecca Stott, Days of Rain
Ted Walker, The High Path*
*This is a (journal) Slightly Foxed Edition: from an invaluable list of republished c20th memoirs, whose catalogue will be given in the first class.
- Spring 22: 13 January - 07 April 2022 (12 weeks) Half term 17 February
- Non-Members: £180 (12 weeks)
- Members: £149 (12 weeks)
- Concessions: £10 (contact the office for details)