Introduction to Life Writing
6 x Friday mornings: 27 July; 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 August, 10am-1pm
Full Price: $600
Conc Member: $360
This six-week course will set you on the journey of writing your life. In a creative and supportive environment, it offers ways of accessing memories, finding your writing voice, bringing the details to life, creating the lived reality of experience on the page and beginning to find its structure. There will be readings, discussions and writing exercises with individual comments on your work. There is a limit of 12 enrolments to ensure everyone has time to receive feedback on their own work.
Weekly Course Outline
Week 1: Motives and Beginnings
Why write a life story? For history, healing or sharing? A journey of discovery. Ways of starting that first chapter.
Week 2: Memories and Other Sources
How to access memories. How reliable are they? Other sources – research, journals, interviews.
Week 3: Power of Detail
Your details are unique. Reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary details of life through awareness and fresh observation.
Week 4: Showing your Life
Let your readers see and feel the emotional and physical reality of your life through dialogue, action and appealing to the senses.
Week 5: Voice
Finding the voice to say it – an authentic voice that will convey the truth of your experience.
Week 6: Structure – Order and Shape
The delight of creating order and finding form in the apparent chaos of a life story. Exploring the many ways of organising and shaping your material.
The set text required for this workshop is Writing True Stories by Patti Miller (Allen & Unwin, 2017). Available at good bookshops – please order in plenty of time.
About the tutor
Patti Miller is the author of eight books: the best-selling Writing Your Life, The Last One Who Remembers, Child, The Memoir Book and Writing True Stories (all published by A&U), Whatever the Gods Do, (Random House), the award-winning The Mind of a Thief (now a VCE text), Ransacking Paris, both published by UQP, and last year, […]