Life Writing & Memoir Writing

Life Writing & Memoir Workshop with Giovanna Iozzi

You must write a memoir as if you’re writing a novel, you have to give it a shape. Blake Morrison

Over six weeks, you will learn all about the popular and compelling memoir form with useful writing exercises, guidance, tips and ideas which will help you identify your own themes as well as recalling key memories and events for your own life-writing material. This course is designed so that all levels of writer will be inspired and benefit from each session – whether you’re completely new to life-writing, or you already have a memoir project on the go.

As well as reading a range of strong and diverse memoir writers, you will gain insights on: how to develop your own voice on the page; how to hook readers into your story; how to use fascinating and relatable details about your life to keep up the pace and maintain page turnability.

You will begin to understand how novelistic devices like dialogue, scene-building,
setting, summary, interiority and tension can help to create a vivid world the reader disappears inside.

Half of each session will be given over to students to receive valuable, supportive
feedback on their work. Students will also be able to share extracts of memoir
projects they are already working on.

We will read extracts from great examples of the form including: Carmen Maria
Machado, Audre Lorde, Jeanette Winterson, Deborah Orr, Patti Smith, Viv Albertine, Deborah Levy, Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi, Tim Lott, John Burnside, Nadia Osuwu and Lemn Sissay.

All levels welcome.


I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I’ve been on it four times, so that shows the interest and value of the course for me. I have learnt a lot! Giovanna takes a keen interest in our work.


Life Writing & Memoir student


The life writing course was excellent. I enjoyed the themes and structure, with tutor input, a writing exercise, feedback and reading out. Giovanna is a lively, fun, inspiring teacher


Life Writing & Memoir student


Cost £140

Summer: Mornings

  • Tuesdays 10.30am-1pm
  • April 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24

Summer: Evenings

  • Wednesdays 6.30-9pm
  • June 15, 22, 29, July 6, 13, 20

Autumn: Evenings

  • Wednesdays 6.30-9pm
  • Sept 14, 21, 28, Oct 5, 12, 19

Our tutor Giovanna says...

Listening to the students' work, whether it’s joyful, funny, dark or heart breaking is a real privilege. As my own writing is highly autobiographical, I feel as if we are on similar writing journeys, exploring our way in the dark mostly, warmly lit by each others’ support. We all gain so much from exploring and engaging with the memoir form in class together; the insights and ideas which emerge are illuminating.

Giovanna Iozzi

Giovanna Iozzi has taught creative writing for a wide range of adult learning spaces, including Goldsmiths University and City University as well as Writing Room. An associate lecturer at Goldsmiths, Giovanna runs a successful course on the Short Story and teaches for the Creative Writing MA, while completing a PhD on Elena Ferrante’s fiction. A winner of Goldsmith’s Pat Kavanagh Prize, she writes in the short fiction, novel and memoir form. Her first novel is Black Figs, a simmering narrative of maternal disintegration. She’s currently working on a memoir inspired by her childhood growing up in East London. You can find her published stories at and find her on twitter: bristlingnarratives@gioiozzi

Writing Room is a registered Community Interest Company: a non-profit arts organisation committed to serving the interests of our diverse community of creative writers.

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