Memoir and Life Writing


Please address any enquiries about the courses to:

Department of English Part-time Courses
School of Humanities
3-5 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TB

Tel: 0117 928 8924

How can we write about our lived experience?
This course aims to encourage, support, and excite participants in engaging with creative writing in a safe and informal space. 

When Wednesday afternoons, 2 pm - 4 pm

8 meetings

2 February to 13 April 2022 (no classes 23 February, 2 March and 6 April)

Where University of Bristol, Arts Complex, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1TB.

You will be introduced to a variety of approaches to memoir and life writing through a discussion of different texts, and we'll do writing exercises to explore your material in a confidential space. There will be opportunities to share your work if you wish.

Every week, we'll do exercises to explore aspects of the craft of writing, including how to progress and structure your writing, how to develop an individual narrative voice, mapping your plot, and how to integrate non-fiction material. Can dialogue be included/created? What kind of source material can be used? How do we navigate the vagaries of memory and differing points of view? Do we need to get the permission of others?

If you want to write about your life and engage in lively discussions with other writers, then this course is for you.

Reading List

Required reading:

Wild; A Journey from Lost to Found to Cheryl Strayed (Atlantic Books 2012)
Educated by Tara Westover (Penguin, 2018)
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn (Penguin, 2019)

Further reading:

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot ( Canongate, 2016)
Antigona  and Me by Kate Clanchy (Picador, 2009)
Truth and Beauty by Ann Pratchett (Fourth Estate, 2004)
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (Grove Press, 2016)
Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston (First published 1942. Virago, 2020)

Course tutor

Rachel Bentham

Course fee

£140 per term

Previous qualifications/experience No qualifications needed. Open to the public.
Edit this page