Organised by The Guardian
Explore the unique art of writing about real life, in this masterclass with the award-winning author Huma Qureshi.
Many people think that life writing is the sole domain of the rich or the famous - people with extraordinary stories to tell, or vast reserves of unusual experiences to draw from. While it’s possible that these things may be beneficial, it’s not strictly true that they’re necessary. In fact, you don’t have to be a celebrity or to have experienced extreme hardship in your life, to have a story worth sharing.
The publishing world is full of examples of writers who earn a living documenting their personal moments - from American humorist David Sedaris and Call the Midwife author Jennifer Worth, to Deborah Levy and her living memoir series and Lowborn author Kerry Hudson.
As you will discover in this masterclass with author Huma Qureshi, it’s possible to extract the extraordinary from the everyday - to find the meaning in the otherwise menial - if you take that first step to believing that your story is worth telling.
This invaluable workshop blends Huma’s personal experience with essential writing tips, prompts and exercises that are designed to boost your confidence, get you thinking and reading, examine your story both creatively and critically, and hone your skills. You will discover how to tell the story of a life in a series of moments, how to negotiate the ethics of writing about real events, and how to start writing - and then keep going.
You will ultimately complete this course with the ability to begin structuring and crafting your story, able to approach real-life writing from an ethical standpoint, and with the understanding that there is so much to be celebrated in the everyday.
This course is for …
Anyone with a desire to start putting their life on the page - even those who don’t believe that have a story to tell or the right to tell it
- Finding meaning in so-called ordinary moments
- Learning to believe that your story is worth telling
- How to tell the story of a life in a series of moments
- The ethics of writing about family and how to negotiate it
- Starting to write - a writing exercise that encourages you to zoom in, and find the meaning behind, on specific moments
- Finding your writing voice
- Searching for the emotional story beneath the plot line
- Recommended reading
Huma Qureshi is an award-winning writer and former Observer and Guardian reporter. Her memoir How We Met: A Memoir of Love and Other Misadventures was published in January 2021 by Elliott & Thompson to critical acclaim, chosen by Stylist as one of 2021’s best non-fiction. She is the winner of the 2020 Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize, with her short story The Jam Maker described by Bernardine Evaristo as ‘lively and fresh writing, with an increasingly gorgeous use of language.’ Her short story collection, Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love, a breath-taking collection of stories about our most intimate relationships, was published in November 2021 by Sceptre. She is now writing a novel, which will be published in 2023.
- Date: Thursday 26 May 2022
- Times: 6.30pm-8.30pm (BST)
6.30pm BST | 7.30pm CEST | 10.30am PDT | 1.30pm EDT
This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.
You will be sent a link to the webinar two hours before the start time. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not received the access link within one hour of the scheduled start time.
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