Writing about a lifetime of rich experience in a way that captures the essence of the people and places involved can be challenging. Learn how to tell your life story in a way that will make a compelling read.
This course will consider what the truth is in memoir writing and use a range of techniques to help you write about your past, so events can be understood in the context of the time. It will look at how to include social history in a way that serves rather than dominates the story. You will practise the skills needed to write about people so that they appear real and unique, and you will learn how to describe places you have visited or lived, and how to focus your life story so it can be told succinctly.
Working in a supportive, encouraging environment via Zoom, you will explore each of these areas through class discussions and written exercises. Regular feedback and guidance will be provided by the tutor. There will be plenty of time for independent writing.
By the end of the course, you will have developed an understanding of how to structure and write your memoirs. You will have written and edited several pieces and gain increased writing skills, and have the confidence to write more.
DAILY TIMETABLE Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December 2020
09.00 – 09.15 All students to join via Zoom
09.15 – 10.45 Introductions, presentation, Q+A followed by independent study with tutor support
10.45 – 11.00 Break
11.00 – 12.45 Teaching, Q+A followed by Independent study, with tutor support
12.45 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.45 Teaching, Q+A, Independent study with tutor support
15.45 – 16.00 Break
16.00 – 17.00 Plenary and next steps
Please read and familiarise yourself with the the Zoom joining instructions emailed to you with your course confirmation before the course starts.
It is also useful to have the following close to hand – a secondary device to join via the Zoom link is recommended if possible to assist sharing your work in progress during the day (eg a smartphone with in-built camera or ipad/tablet).
You will also need to have:
Writing materials – notebook, pen or pencil, in addition to your laptop/PC
What skill level do I need to take a course?
Our online courses are each given a level of study to ensure you pick the right course for you;
Beginners - Suitable for those with little or no experience of the subject
Intermediate – If you have taken a related course or have existing skills
Suitable for all - With content that can be engaged with on different levels.
What format does the course take?
Our online live-streamed courses run each day from 9am-5pm.
After admitting all students to Zoom between 9am-9.15am, the tutor will introduce the course at 9.15am promptly and give a demonstration or warm-up exercise with a chance to ask questions before independent study with tutor support. This pattern is followed throughout the day as additional tasks are introduced, concluding in the final session with a round up and discussion on next steps.
Is the course taught live?
Yes, the course is taught live via Zoom.
Will the course be recorded?
No, the course will not be recorded.
How many people will be on the course?
There are a maximum of 10-12 places, depending on the course.
How do I sign up for a course?
Follow the online booking process to sign up for a course.
Can I use a College gift voucher for online courses?
Yes, simply enter the gift voucher code at the online checkout.
How do I access my course?
You will receive a link and password to access the course email, typically within two working days.
What do I need to set up or prepare before the course starts:
Find yourself a quiet place to work, away from background noise and distractions during the core teaching times. Prepare a workstation, ideally with a good sized work-surface or table, adjacent to your computer, and with enough space to layout your assembled materials and tools ready for the start of the day. Also assemble any materials listed on the course details which will not be supplied in any materials kit sent to you, if included in the course. (If your course includes materials, this will be clearly stated in the course materials section above).
Ensure you read and familiarise yourself with the Zoom joining instructions emailed to you with your course confirmation before the course starts. We recommend doing this several days in advance to avoid technical issues on the day.
What computer set-up will I need to take a course?
You can join a zoom meeting on a computer or laptop – Mac, PC – with Internet connection, a webcam, microphone and speakers (usually in-built). You need high speed Wi-Fi with full bars signal that doesn’t drop out Internet connection and a modern internet browser (see "What Web Browser do you recommend" below).
You will need an email account to sign up for a course and an up-to-date web browser.
To join the course simply click on the link in your confirmation email and follow the instructions on the screen. You can access Zoom via the web browser or app. For help joining a meeting see Zoom support here
It is also useful to have the following close to hand - a secondary device to join via the Zoom link is recommended if possible to assist sharing your work in progress during the day (eg a smartphone with in-built camera or ipad/tablet), if possible.
Some of the course resources may be presented as PDF files, which will require a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader.
What web browser do you recommend?
PC users – Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Edge 12+, Internet Explorer 11+ are supported.
Mac users – Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Safari 7+ are supported.
Please be sure to keep your browser updated. If you need to upgrade your browser, go to your browser manufacturer's website and download the most recent version.
Phones and tablets – download the Zoom mobile app from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android).
We recommend setting up and testing Zoom a few days in advance of your course to ensure you do not have problems on the day. If you have checked the technical requirements above and are using a suitable browser but the problem persists, email email@example.com (Monday-Friday) with the details of your problem (including a screenshot if useful) for advice.
I’ve lost my login details, what do I do?
If you have deleted your login information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Monday-Friday).
I’ve changed my mind and no longer want to do this course, what can I do?
Please contact email@example.com immediately if you have changed your mind, within 14 days of booking. Please also refer to our Terms and Conditions when booking. For any other queries about online courses please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For courses that included a posted materials pack: (If your course included a materials pack, it will state this clearly in the course materials section).
When should I expect to receive my materials pack?
Your pack will be posted to arrive 1-2 days before your course starts. It will be delivered by courier. Currently, these can only be posted to mainland UK addresses.
Who do I contact if I haven’t received my materials pack or it is missing an item?
Please contact email@example.com (Monday-Friday) within two days of the course start date.
Ruth Brandt's short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines, including Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual, Bristol Short Story Prize and Litro, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She has an MFA (Distinction) Creative Writing, Kingston University, won the MFA Creative Writing Prize 2017 and tutors for Surrey Adult Learning.