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Writing biography with Jon Cook

Guardian Masterclasses

Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 10:00 AM - Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 5:00 PM (BST)

Writing biography with Jon Cook

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Writing biography with Jon Cook Ended £399.00 £0.00
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Event Details

How to get the most out of one of today's most exciting – and best-selling – literary genres 

The biography has come of age as an artform, spawning ever more inventive ways of capturing the essence of a life. Far from its dry chronological origins, biography now resembles a camera lens pointing into history, with the focus and composition at the control of the author, making it a powerful tool if you know how to use it. A great biography can tell the story of a person, an era or a culture. It can comment on or contextualise current affairs, set the record straight or call conventional wisdom into question.

This weekend course offers an illuminating exploration of the possibilities provided by the modern biography, from renowned expert Jon Cook, author of Hazlitt in Love and professor of literature at the University of East Anglia. You'll learn how to define what you want to say, the best research methods for your project, and how to engage an audience with your subject. Whoever you want to write about, however you want to write about them, or even if you don't know where to start, this course will make you see biography in a new light.

This course is for you if…

  • You have an idea for a biography but little or no experience of long-form writing
  • You're a journalist who wants to examine the origins of a current story or cultural or political trend
  • You're a historian looking for new and more open-ended ways to explore or express your specialist knowledge
  • You're an experienced writer in another discipline – such as journalism, creative writing or comedy – and are interested in the potential of a biography project
  • You're an avid reader of biographies and are interested in learning how they're planned and written

Course description

This intensive two-day course contains both theoretical and practical elements, providing attendees with structured practical exercises to help attendees plan and define their own long-form biography, including how to decide who you want to write about, how to approach the project, and what you want to say with it. Topics covered on the day include:

  • Understanding what biography is and how it works
  • The numerous kinds of research that make a successful biography
  • Defining your own biographical project, and what you need to do to get started
  • From forensic history to misery memoir – the latest trends in biography writing

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

Have questions about Writing biography with Jon Cook? Contact Guardian Masterclasses

When & Where


The Guardian
Kings Place
90 York Way
N1 9GU London
United Kingdom

Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 10:00 AM - Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 5:00 PM (BST)


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Organizer

Guardian Masterclasses

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.

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