The memoir is one of the best-selling and fastest-evolving literary genres. From prize-winning creative non-fiction like Dave Eggers A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius to celebrity tell-alls and confessional misery-lit, in recent years memoirs have attracted critical adulation, controversy and some serious sales.
Having a story to tell is the first step in writing a memoir. It doesn't even have to be your own story. No longer the sole province of the nostalgic famous, a memoir doesn't have to cover a whole life - it can explore the details of a personal triumph, a serious illness, a relationship, a divorce, or a job.
Through an intensive weekend of talks and practical workshops, you'll learn the all-important craft of knowing what to share, and what to leave out, how to hone your writing style to build an intimate bond with your readers. You'll end the course understanding the challenges of writing a memoir, but with the skills you need to pour a life onto the page.
Mark McCrum has published fifteen books, including five top ten bestsellers. His pop biography of Robbie Williams, Somebody Someday, was a no.1 in both hardback and paperback and sold over a million copies. As a ghost writer he has worked on memoirs for subjects ranging from the victims of paedophilia to survivors of forced marriage. He worked with Bruce Parry on his autobiographical bestseller Tribe. Mark's most recent book was Walking With The Wounded, an account of the successful attempt of four wounded soldiers to reach the North Pole unsupported. He has done talks and workshops about ghost writing for the Cambridge Wordfest, the Isle of Wight literary festival, Shetland's Wordplay, and Dartington's Ways With Words.
Guest speaker profile
Andrew Lownie has been a bookseller, journalist, publisher, director of Curtis Brown and for the last twenty five years has run his own literary agency. He represents over thirty ghost writers and has a memoir in the best seller list most weeks. A former literary agent to English Pen and founder of the Biographers Club, he has published several books ranging from biography to travel literature. Click here for his agency website.
When & Where
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.