Memoir Writing Class

With Eileen Casey. Starting 10/01/2023

Do you have a personal experience that you wish to tell, but don’t know where to start? This class will provide the nuts and bolts for piecing together your story.

DURATION: 6 weeks

Start Date:  January 10th, 2023 – 2 places remaining

Our classes are in huge demand and are filling up very quickly, so we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.

Places are strictly limited to 10 participants. You don’t have to be based in the US to take the class. We accept students from around the world!

This creative writing class fits in with a student’s schedule. You don’t have to be online at any particular time or day. Instead, the class is carried out through email correspondence, so you can read the notes whenever it suits you. There will be weekly notes and assignments over the course of six weeks. Your tutor will read each assignment and provide written feedback. You’ll find out more about how the online courses work here.

Please note that this is a class for adults. If you’re under 18, check out our writing for teenagers classes.

Module One – In the Beginning “There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in” (Graham Greene). This module will introduce the memoir as a popular genre, particularly with regard to the twin elements conflict and suspense. Writing personal story can be simplicity itself yet the memoir form also has the potential for more complex expositions of the human psyche. Various techniques and approaches will be explored so individual memoir sparkles with style and personality.

Module Two – Who are YOU Anyway? How do you feel about You as character? This module focuses on the ability, or not, to be scrupulously honest. It pays to pay attention and observe when the jumping off line isn’t always so obvious; to listen to the insistent whispers of what is worth remembering. Various and intriguing entry points to memory will be explored, a word Northern Ireland writer John Hewitt described as ‘loaded’.

Module Three – Structure and Timeline Memoir is a window onto a life. This module will demonstrate the many and various ways a memoir can be shaped together with the timeline(s) it inhabits. Framing memoir with deliberate precision ensures that there is nothing random or casual about the chosen material. What to leave out is often far more important than what to leave in.

Module Four – Emotion: Dialogue: Setting: Theme A balance of light and shade ensures a blend that is atmospheric, sensually invigorating and aesthetically elegant. This module is directed towards vital elements which support and enhance the memoir structure.

Module Five – The Lost Property Bureau Researching the past ensures a richly textured memoir backdrop. The devil is in the detail and the authenticating detail is paramount with memoir. This module looks at excavating the past, finding those hidden historical gems. Doing the required ‘homework’ is not just about writing every day. It’s also about having a healthy investigative curiosity.

Module Six – Memoir Markets Memoir outlets are many and varied. This final module highlights ways of getting memoir published.

 

“Working with Eileen has been a totally positive experience. I had stalled in my writing and she rebooted me! I found her to be a very sensitive, careful reader, always encouraging. She gave me valuable critique and, working with her has given me more confidence in my writing. I have taken two courses with Eileen and would gladly take another. I found her notes and guidelines extremely helpful. Most importantly though, I always had the feeling that she sincerely wanted me to write well” – Norma Macmaster.

 

If you have any further queries, you can check out Frequently Asked Questions or How it Works.

Our cancellation/refund policy may be viewed here.

About The Tutor

Eileen Casey is a poet, fiction writer and journalist and holds an M.Phil in Creative Writing (Distinction). Her work is widely published in outlets such as The Moth, Verbal Arts Magazine, County Lines: Portrait of a County (New Island); The Ulster Tatler, Ice (Pighog Press, UK), Poetry Ireland Review, The Irish Times, The Jelly Bucket (USA), The Coffee House (UK), among others. Recent awards include a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship and a Hennessy Literary Award (Emerging Fiction). She also won The Francis Ledwidge Award, The Moore Medallion and The Oliver Goldsmith International Poetry Prize. Her debut poetry collection ‘Drinking the Colour Blue’ (New Island) was published in 2008. ‘Snow Shoes’ (Arlen House), a debut collection of short stories was published in 2012 and in 2014, Eileen’s collection of memoir essays ‘A Fascination with Fabric,’ was published (Arlen House). Berries for Singing Birds (Arlen House) was published in 2019. She was also a visiting writer on the 2011 Eastern Kentucky University Winter Residency, in Lexington, Kentucky.

 

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Course Details

  • Start Date: 10/01/2023
  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • Price: 190 USD