Advanced Writing Lives (online)
Every day we meet people with interesting life stories. Everyone is exotic to someone else. Our lives are made up of tragic, uplifting and humorous experiences which shape us as individuals. We love, fight, apologise, account for and endure through whatever comes our way. These challenges are endlessly affecting, both for the people who experience them and the reader who knows them second hand. We shall explore how writers transform their own and others’ lives into exciting and innovative texts, so that we can create our own.
This course develops the skills and learning acquired on the current Writing Lives online course. This course differs in that it introduces topics, concepts and approaches which are commensurate with second year university/Level 5 study, further encouraging a high degree of individuality and innovation. It is not necessary for students to have taken the Writing Lives course but it is recommended that students have some previous writing experience and a strong desire to embark on a sustained personal project.
1. Towards a definition of memoir
2. identifying subject areas about which to write
3. Engaging and sustaining the reader's interest
4. Whose life is it? And what is 'truth'?
6. The notion of self and ways to present it
8. So near yet so far - how close do we need to get?
9. Experimenting with time
10. Variety is the spice of life
To participate in the course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and the following text books:
Cline, S. and Angier, C., 2013 Life Writing, London, Bloomsbury
Karr, M., 2015 The Art of Memoir, New York, Harper
Lee, H., 2009 Biography: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford, Oxford University Press
To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to register and pay the £10 fee.
For more information on CATS point please click on the link below: http://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/studentsupport/faq/cats.php
Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.
This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00
Jeremy Hughes has published two novels – Dovetail (2011) and Wingspan (2013) – and two pamphlets – breathing for all my birds (2000) and The Woman Opposite (2004). He was awarded first prize in the Poetry Wales Competition and was shortlisted for a Gregory Award. He has also published memoir, short fiction and reviews widely in British and American magazines. He studied at the University of Oxford, where he teaches on the Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing.
This course aims to:
- Explore a variety of life writing so that students can produce engaging and exciting original work which utilises the material from their own lives.
- Introductory section, outlining key areas of work within each unit.
- Description of required reading and recommended reading.
- Presentation of materials taken from additional (eg. online) sources, relevant to each unit.
- Online discussion forum.
- Online personal study diary.
- Tutor responses to forum and exercises.
- Assessment and feedback.
By the end of this course students will be expected to understand:
- That there are many different types of memoirs.
- That they must write in a manner which engages and sustains the interest of the reader.
- That they must transform their own life experiences innovatively.
By the end of this course students will be expected to have gained the following skills:
- To be able to write engaging texts.
- Transform their life experiences into appropriate textual varieties.
- The confidence to embark on their own memoir projects.
Assessment for this course is based on two written assignments - one short assignment of 500 words, with 250 word commentary, due half way through the course and one longer assignment of 1000 words, with 500 word commentary, due at the end of the course.
Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.
Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.
Level and demands
FHEQ level 5, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support