Introduction to Memoir

Introduction to Memoir

Who: Lee Kofman
Saturday 9 September, 10am-4pm
Cost: Full Price:
$180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110
Early and emerging

Since the memoir boom in the late 1980s, this popular genre has undergone many exciting developments, becoming one of the most creative and innovative literary forms.

Join memoirist Lee Kofman and learn about the common characteristics of memoirs and about their different sub-types, such as bibliomemoir and immersion memoir. You’ll identify different themes and focuses for memoir writing, whether short or long, and how to structure your life stories so that they make for engaging reading.

By discussing the role of emotional honesty in writing about ourselves, we’ll consider the ethical issues embedded in it. We’ll also explore the notions of ‘reflection’ and ‘emotional distance’, which are crucial for good memoir writing.

Incorporating theory, discussion, memoir examples and writing exercises, we’ll learn how to turn the people in your life into compelling characters, and how to seduce your readers by vividly describing your experiences. 

Course overview

  • Understanding memoir
  • What can I write about?
  • Emotional honesty
  • Turning oneself/others into compelling characters
  • Vivid writing
  • How do I shape my story?

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Learning to think about your life in literary terms
  • Learning to describe your experiences honestly and vividly
  • Learning how to make real people into compelling characters

Participant Requirements
Pen and paper

About the tutor
Lee Kofman
is the author of four books, including the memoir The Dangerous Bride, and is co-editor of Rebellious Daughters, an anthology of prominent Australian memoirists. Her short works have been widely published in Australia, UK, Scotland, Israel, Canada and US. Her blog was a finalist for Best Australian Blogs 2014. She’s worked as a writing mentor and teacher of writing for 14 years now. More information at


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