Writing a Memoir

6 weeks
Start Date
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Writing a Memoir

Do you want to write a memoir and don’t know how to get going? Or perhaps you’re already at work on one and want to get some guidance to help you? If this sounds familiar, then this course is for you.

There are so many rich possibilities for compelling narratives based on our true stories – including lives and experiences that might seem very ordinary until they’re held up to the light.

Bestselling memoirist Cathy Rentzenbrink will take you on an in-depth exploration of your memories, guiding you through the techniques you’ll need to sharpen your prose style and convert your lived experience into a readable and lively story.

I really enjoyed this course and learned so much! Before, I didn't know where to start with this huge task. Now I believe this book can be written, using the tools I've been given.

Edit Spaudo


Cathy Rentzenbrink

Cathy Rentzenbrink is the author of The Last Act of Love which was a Sunday Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize. She followed it with A Manual for Heartache and Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books. Her first novel Everyone Is Still Alive is out now. Her writing guide Write It All Down: How to put your life on the page was published in 2022. Cathy regularly chairs literary events, interviews authors, reviews books and runs creative writing workshops. In previous lives, Cathy worked for Waterstones for ten years, ran the literacy charity Quick Reads, and was Books Editor at The Bookseller.


  • Video modules: Work through weekly modules comprising teaching videos and substantial notes from Cathy, offering a practical and friendly approach to writing about your life.
  • Writing tasks: Weekly tasks will help you mind-map and create ‘the story of your life’, turning important themes in your story into structured scenes.
  • Resources & notes: You’ll get access to multiple Case Studies, additional resources and teaching notes, including extracts from early drafts of Cathy's bestselling book The Last Act of Love to illustrate how to solve some of the writing problems discussed.
  • Professional feedback: An expert CBC editor will give brief written feedback on several of the students' practical assignments every week, with all students receiving feedback on one of their writing tasks. Students are also given the option to purchase additional end-of-course feedback from our expert editors.
  • Student forum: Find your writing community on our private student forums. Upload your completed writing tasks, give and receive peer-to-peer feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your fellow students and the CBC team.


Our online courses are designed for flexible learning. Allocate your own study time and take part from wherever you are in the world. Each week, we recommend spending at least four hours on the course. It’s also important to be planning and working on your memoir throughout the six weeks.

  • WEEK 1
    Mining the self
  • WEEK 2
    Memory & truth
  • WEEK 3
    Planning & structure
  • WEEK 4
    Tools for storytelling
  • WEEK 5
    Building a memoir
  • WEEK 6
    Looking to the future


All students will be given the option to purchase feedback on their final task from a CBC editor.

  • CBC report: For an additional fee of £145, you can obtain a detailed 500-word report on your work (of up to 3,000 words) from one of our CBC editors.
  • CBC report + tutorial: For an additional fee of £240, you can obtain a 500-word report from one of our CBC editors and have a 30-minute video or telephone tutorial with them to discuss your work.