Lifestories with Patti Miller


Correspondence Course Outlines

    The correspondence courses are for people who want to start life writing and who would like some individual guidance – and perhaps some discipline!. The courses are suitable as a continuation after a weekend workshop or on their own. As explained on the Correspondence Courses page, the ten units in each course are based on the two text books, Writing Your Life: a journey of discovery  and The Memoir Book.  You can only buy the whole course, not individual units. There are two courses to choose from:

    The Life Writing Course is designed for those who wish to try writing autobiography – a whole life story. It is based on Writing Your Life.

    The Memoir Course is designed for those who wish to try writing memoir – a time, place, relationship or experience within a life. It is based on The Memoir Book. ( This course not available until May 07)

    Read through the course outlines, consider your writing project, then decide which one is for you.  For more information and how to enroll, read the Correspondence Courses page. If you have any further queries, email the Life Stories Workshop.

    Course Outline: The Life Writing Course

    Introduction

    If you want to start writing your life story, this is the course for you. You will need to acquire a copy of Writing Your Life: a journey of discovery Allen & Unwin 2001. It normally costs $24.95 Australian dollars. (You may be able to find it for less on an internet bookshop.)  All page numbers refer to this edition.

    Guidelines for following the course:

    Overall time for completing the course is up to two years. You may complete the course in a few months if you wish.

    Time limit for each exercise is advised in the edition of the text you are using, but for the purposes of the correspondence course, disregard the advice. You may write up to 3,000 words per unit. Do not be concerned with how long it might take.

    Clearly identify the unit you are doing on the front page, e.g Unit 1.

    Return your exercises one at a time. Wait for the return of each exercise before you send the next one.

    Post is preferred for return of course units as editing is more efficient on paper, but in some circumstances, you may email your units.

    Make sure you include a stamped self-addressed envelope with each exercise unit.

    For each exercise unit you complete, you will receive on-page notes and a separate written report with detailed, individual guidance.

    Course Outline

      Unit 1:
      Getting Started: Read Workshop 1, beginning at pg 39.
      Complete Ex 4, pg 51

      Unit 2:
      Sources: Read Workshop 2, beginning at pg 55.
      Complete Ex3 pg 69

      Unit 3:
      Memory: Read Workshop 3, beginning at pg 73.
      Complete Ex 2, pg 84

      Unit 4:
      Finding Your Voice: Read Workshop 4, beginning at pg 90. Complete Ex 3, pg 99

      Unit 5:
      Bring it to life – Detail: Read Workshop 5, beginning pg 104. Complete Ex 2 or 4 (your choice) pg 113

      Unit 6:
      Bring it to life – Drama: Read Workshop 6, beginning at pg 117. Complete Ex 3, pg 128

      Unit 7:
      (note this and following units are out of sequence with book)

      Experimenting with Form: Read Workshop 10, beginning pg 180. Complete Ex 3, pg 189

      Unit 8:
      Structure: Read Workshop 7, beginning pg 133.
      Complete Ex 1, pg 144

      Unit 9:
      Crafting the Story: Read Workshop 8, beginning pg 151.
      Complete Ex 3, pg 162

      Unit 10:
      Telling Your Truth: Read Workshop  9, beginning pg 168. Complete ex 4, pg 176
       

    Course Outline: The Memoir Course

    Introduction

    If you want to start writing about aspects of your life – a place or time, experience or idea, this is the course for you. You will need to acquire a copy of The Memoir Book Allen & Unwin 2007. It normally costs $24.95 Australian dollars. (You may be able to find it for less on an internet bookshop.)  All page numbers refer to this edition. 

    Guidelines for following the course:

    Overall time for completing the course is up to two years. You may complete the course in a few months if you wish.

    Time limit for each exercise is advised in the edition of the text you are using, but for the purposes of the correspondence course, disregard the advice. You may write up to 3,000 words per unit. Do not be concerned with how long it might take.

    Clearly identify the unit you are doing on the front page, e.g Unit 1.

    Return your exercises one at a time. Wait for the return of each exercise before you send the next one.

    Post is preferred for return of course units as editing is more efficient on paper, but in some circumstances, you may email your units.

    Make sure you include a stamped self-addressed envelope with each exercise unit.

    For each exercise unit you complete, you will receive on-page notes and a separate written report with detailed, individual guidance. Your enrolment fee entitles you to one full report per unit.

    Course Outline

      Unit 1:
      Beginning, Again

      Read Chapter 2, beginning pg 8. Complete Ex 2, pg 22
       

      Unit 2:
      The Importance of Madeleines – remembering

      Read Chapter 3, beginning pg 24. Complete Ex 4, pg 36
       

      Unit 3:
      The Story-Teller’s Seat – narrating position

      Read Chapter 4, beginning pg 37. Complete Ex 3, pg 54
       

      Unit 4:
      Making Tapestry – detail and texture

      Read Chapter 5, beginning pg 56. Complete Ex 6, pg 74
       

      Unit 5:
      Finding Form

      Read Chapter 6, beginning pg 75. Complete Ex 4, pg 93

      Unit 6:
      Narrative – the Magic spell

      Read Chapter 7, beginning pg 94. Complete either Ex 3, pg 110 or Ex 4, pg 111

      Unit 7:
      The Big I - Self Indulgence and Context

      Read Chapter 9, beginning pg 130. Complete Ex 2, pg  141

      Unit 8:
      Wish You Were Here – travel writing

      Read Chapter 10, beginning pg 143. Complete Ex  1 or 2, pg 158

      Unit 9:
      Borderlands – memoir and fiction

      Read Chapter 12, beginning pg 180, Complete Ex 2 or ex 4  pg 192  

      Unit 10:
      Random provocations – the personal essay

      Read Chapter 11, beginning pg 161. Complete Ex 4, pg 179

       

 


 


 

 

Life Stories Workshop
PO Box 603 Potts Point NSW 2011 |  Phone 02 9332 2787  |
 Email: pmiller@lifestories.com.au.
ABN 17 929 410 340