Frances Wilson

About this course

We talk about writing the book of a lifetime, but how do you write a lifetime in a book? Do you have a true story that needs telling – a personal memoir perhaps, or a biography of a figure you have always admired? Are you stuck at the beginning, the middle, or the end of the project? Do you need a tutor, a reader, a critic, an editor or simply a maid of all work to get you started and guide you through the process of turning a life, in all its mystery and complexity, into a page-turning book? Frances Wilson will provide motivation and support for those who have written nothing before as well as those with writing experience. The only prerequisite is your commitment to the task.


About the instructor

Frances Wilson teaches creative writing at Goldsmiths College, in the University of London. She is author of five acclaimed biographies, including Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas de Quincey, The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth and How to Survive the Titanic; or, The Sinking of J Bruce Ismay (Winner of the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography).

She has extensive experience of teaching the art of biography and autobiography in writing groups and private sessions, and many of her former students are now published authors.

Frances will help you find your voice, shape your ideas, interpret your material, plan the structure, and give your narrative the kind of propulsion that will keep your reader glued from beginning to end.


What you will learn

The sessions will be intensive two-hour tutorials over a number of weeks.  You will be asked to provide regular writing for close discussion – in the form of outlines, sentences, paragraphs, scenes, character sketches, or chapters. This is an opportunity to get your memoir or biography off the ground, and work with an established author and teacher to bring it ever closer to completion.

Tutorial content will include:

  • Refining your subject
  • Research skills
  • Interpreting letters and archives
  • Finding your voice
  • Exploring your characters
  • Ensuring historical accuracy
  • Constructing a narrative
  • Critical readings


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Pricing & Info

2 hour session: £200

Frances will speak with you to gauge the number of sessions required.

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