Paid event
 -  (UTC)
This is an online event

Organised by The Guardian

Explore the unique art of writing about real life, in this masterclass with the award-winning author Huma Qureshi.

Save 15% on all full price standard tickets by entering the code SPRINGSALE15 at checkout, subject to availability. Hurry, this offer ends on Monday 17 April 2023.
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
Course content
  • 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
  • Q&A
Tutor profile
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 2023
  • Times: 6.30pm-8.30pm (BST)
A catch up recording will be shared after the class and will be available for two weeks.
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.
6.30pm GMT | 7.30pm CST | 10.30am PT | 1.30pm ET
You will be sent a link to the webinar 24 hours and 30 minutes before the start time. Please email masterclasses@theguardian.com if you do not receive the access link.
We aim to make Guardian Masterclasses accessible to all. If you require any adjustments to enable your participation in this course, please get in touch with us at masterclasses@theguardian.com.
This event will be hosted on a third-party live streaming platform Zoom, please refer to their privacy policy and terms and conditions before purchasing a ticket to the class.
Once a purchase is complete we will not be able to refund you where you do not attend or if you cancel your event booking. Please see our terms and conditions for more information on our refund policy.


Attendees — 4

 -  (UTC)
Life writing with Huma QureshiLondon, United Kingdom