“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou
We all have a story to tell and memories can nag at us to be given voice, but capturing and taming them into a coherent story can be as difficult as netting air.
My Story is an introduction to the genre of Memoir, which is writing from lived experience. It’s about identifying a story that you want to tell, finding the voice with which to tell it, and developing some of the tools that will help you to turn a personal account into a page turning story.
Personal narratives can be informative, funny, cathartic, tragic, healing and revealing. Through telling them we can learn as much about ourselves as about the human condition, and in sharing them on the page, we have the opportunity to take readers on a profound and deeply personal journey of their own.
Each week there will be writing exercises in class and a short homework, so you can put into practice what you’ve learnt, and there will be an opportunity to share your work in a supportive and constructive environment.
By the end of this course you will have gained a deeper understanding of writing from life and have developed greater confidence in telling your story.
Week 1: Editing the Truth – bearing witness, truth on the page and critiquing memoir.
Week 2: What’s Your Story? – truth vs. story, defining story and a life in snapshot
Week 3: Memory and Place – objects, sense memory and setting.
Week 4: Ethics of Memoir – truth vs. confidentiality, whose story is it?
Week 5: The Truth in Fiction – writing from life as inspiration for both memoir and fiction.
Week 6: Writing for Readers – who’s your audience?
What previous attendees say:
“I enjoyed every minute…I have found my writer’s voice.”
“I really enjoyed surprising myself. bring encouraged by the great group of supportive peer life writers. A great introduction, demystifying the process, comfortable and fun, learning with so much more confidence to keep writing.”
“This course was a really useful introduction to the different considerations and nuances involved in life writing. The environment felt safe and protected and I appreciated the small group element. There was no pressure to ‘perform’ and the notes we were given to take away, as as well as the homework tasks, were excellent. Overall it was most enjoyable.”
“Struggling to make my memoirs interesting and readable, I attended Fi Mason’s My Story taster workshop. I could see that the full course would be of great benefit for me. She presents in a very gentle and motivating way. The session was fun with a lot of smiling and I enjoyed it immensely. Fi got the content just right. She didn’t miss anything and gave really good feedback if I started to go off course.”
“It was very enjoyable and everybody was given time and space to contribute in a friendly and relaxed manner. I especially enjoyed the prompting of memories with physical objects. This activity seemed to work well with all participants, and for some in an unanticipated manner, enriching their recollections. The session opened my mind to the variety of ways in which ‘my story’ might be approached.”
The fee for this 6-week course is £100.00.
Tutor: Fiona Mason
Wivenhoe Bookshop, High Street, Wivenhoe, Essex, UK, CO7 9BE Tel: 01206 824050
Next course: Spring 2020. Want to join us?
Any questions about the course content or suitability, please call Fiona on 01206 625010.
Other UK Venues London, Chelmsford and Ipswich.