Writing Biography and Autobiography

127 TUTOR: Marc Blake

Creating a narrative from real life experience is a challenging, therapeutic and fulfilling project. Whether you wish to curate your own life or those of others into a comprehensive whole, this course will help you to select, dramatise and develop your ideas. You will look at theme, dialogue, shape, structure, editing and the route to publishing, examining examples of writers and biographers to see how they market their work. Exercises will help sharpen your writing style and create exciting, readable prose. During the course, you will aim to produce a workable pitch and synopsis.


3 PM
PM course

Course Notes

This course will be divided as follows.

- Telling the story. What constitutes a 'good read?'

- Is my subject suitable for a commercial biography/autobiography?

- What are the legal issues as regards libel/slander?

- Research. How much? How little.

- Characterisation.

- Creating a narrative arc for your story.

- Colour - using dialogue and description to enhance the tale.

- Manuscript presentation.

- Editing and submission.

Background Reading;

Ghost-writing. Andrew Crofts (A&C Black)

Long Walk to Freedom Nelson Mandela. (Macdonald Purnell)

What's It all About? Michael Caine. (Arrow)

Biography: A very Short Introduction. Hermione Lee (OUP)

Course Tutor

Marc Blake

About Marc

Marc Blake is the author of five novels and several non-fiction books. His latest is Writing the Comedy Movie (2015, Bloomsbury). He has taught Novel writing at Kensington and Chelsea College, the Cheltenham Literature Festival and at Southampton Solent University. He is also a screenwriter whose two part ITV drama The Swap was broadcast to 9 million viewers.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul

WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul

WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul

WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM