Introduction to Creative Non-Fiction: life writing, memoir and autofiction ADED11965E

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Everyone has a story to tell about their life but sometimes it can be hard to write down. Life writing, memoir, and autobiographical fiction (or autofiction) bring our real experiences to life on the page, helping us make sense of events and share compelling stories. This practical course examines notable examples to identify distinct techniques, structures and styles that we can practise in our own writing. It also offers approachable writing exercises to try these techniques out, share what we've written and improve with mutual feedback. This course also introduces students to the ethical implications and options available when drawing on real life for inspiration. While the main purpose of this course is literary and creative and not therapeutic, personal reflections are welcome. Overall, this practical course offers students a welcoming first step towards writing about real-life.


2 hours per week for 10 weeks

Blocks 2 and 4

For timetable details, please visit our web pages University of Glasgow - Study - Short courses 

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





To assess Intended Learning Outcomes 1 and 2:

Portfolio (1,500 words) of life writing, memoir and/or autobiographical fiction in the form of several shorter pieces, extract(s) from a longer work or one singular complete piece (75%)


To assess Intended Learning Outcomes 1 and 3:

Self-reflective essay (500 words) identifying the autobiographical form(s) chosen by the student for the portfolio and explaining why they were specifically chosen over the other forms described on the course. The essay should also offer a short commentary on the student's personal creative process whilst composing their portfolio (25%).

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce students to the key distinct literary characteristics of life writing, memoir and autobiographical fiction (or autofiction) through textual analysis of notable examples.

■ Encourage individual, creative approaches to life writing, memoir and autofiction through practical writing exercises that draw inspiration from the students' own lives and enables them to apply key techniques to their own writing.

■ Build students' confidence in submitting their creative writing for peer and tutor feedback.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify and distinguish the key literary characteristics of life writing, memoir and/or autobiographical fiction (or autofiction) and apply these to their own writing.

■ Compose persuasive, artistically coherent and technically competent written work that demonstrates key techniques from memoir, life-writing and/or auto-fiction writing.

■ Appraise and reflect upon their own creative process and that of others.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.