Writing from Life


Dates of the Workshops: to be confirmed. Please contact us to be added to the mailing list for this course.


Want to write a memoir? Interested in using personal experience as the basis for fiction? This one-day workshop is for you.


Using safe, enjoyable exercises to explore personal experience and memory, the workshop will help you unearth rich seams of writing material and discover a focus for your writing project. For those already working on a memoir or fiction project, the workshop will deepen your understanding of your material and provide fresh inspiration and direction.


We will be looking at how sensory memory can be used to access the people, settings and stories from our past. By recalling sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures from various stages of our lives we will retrieve and share incidents that might form the basis of memoir or fiction. We will discuss and debate the importance of sensory details in all forms of writing.


We will use various exercises, including working from photographs of our own, in order to explore the boundary between memory and imagination and to debate what the unreliability of our memory means for the writing of both memoir and fiction.


During the workshop, we will also look at and debate the opinions of writers and critics on autobiographical writing, as well as considering the ethics of Writing From Life.

This is a workshop for:


  • Anyone new to writing from life

  • Anyone contemplating an idea for a memoir or for a novel drawing on personal experience

  • Anyone already underway with a manuscript or a revision

Workshop Leader:

Tracey Emerson began writing fiction after a career in theatre and community arts. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and literary magazines, and she is a former runner up of the Scotsman and Orange Short Story Award. She has just completed her novel, Choose Me, and is represented by Charlie Brotherstone at Ed Victor Ltd. Her fiction often draws on personal experience. Tracey holds a doctorate in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh and is a teaching fellow there.

Workshop fee: £135

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Skriva Writing School, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, 25 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh EH12 5AP


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