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Activities at The Grange

The Stories of Your Life Weekend with Alison Habens

Fri 15 - Sun 17 Mar 2019

Always wanted to write your life story but didn’t know where to start? This course will lead you in a series of fun and interesting life-writing tasks. From your earliest memories, those tales of your school days and siblings, pets and pursuits, through the rites of passage, work and marriage: you will be able to tell about the triumphs and the tragedies on your personal timeline, and see the whole story laid out as a screenwriter might plot the film or a novelist plan the book. All the sights, sounds and smells of your childhood will be conjured up, while you play with the characters of your real-life friends or foes, as well as practising technical skills around writing in past and present tense, first or third person.

Working in prose, poetry or script, whichever you prefer, we’ll even explore where you got your name from, and experiment with ideas you may have come from dreams. Our discussions will include possible avenues of publication and routes to readership, and Alison will be able to offer individual advice on your writing during the course. This creative writing class is likely to touch on memories which may be painful: you won’t have to read aloud unless you are happy to.

The activities are designed to be comfortable and enjoyable, and will allow you to produce first drafts of short stories, articles, poems or scripts; with the potential to develop a full-length memoir or semi-autobiographical novel based on the story of your life.


About Alison Habens

Alison Habens is the author of Dreamhouse, a 1990s cult novel based on Alice in Wonderland, which had its ‘coming of age’, a 21st birthday, with Lewis Carroll’s 150th anniversary in 2015. But Alison has written pretty much every day since it was first published, with two further novels, Lifestory and Family Outing in print, and lots of short stories, articles, poems and plays to see on www.alisonhabens.com.

Her new novels are a quirky retelling of the St Veronica myth, The True Picture; and a postmodern rom-com, Pencilwood. (Visit www.thetruepicture.co.uk and www.pencilwood.com to find out where she got the ideas from…) Alison is course leader for Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth, and has a PhD on the subject of ‘divine inspiration’ in literature. She runs a research project called ‘Ink:Well’ – Life-writing for Wellbeing. She lives in an old church on the Isle of Wight, with husband and three children/young adults, and commutes to work by hovercraft. 

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