Alumni Masterclass: Creative Writing – Life Writing with Dr Chris Westoby

Interested in learning something new? Want to engage in an interesting conversation with a University of Hull academic and alumni with a shared interest? Or do you want to get a taste of what a postgraduate class at the University of Hull is like? Then welcome to the Alumni Masterclass series.


Alumni Masterclass: Creative Writing – Life Writing with Dr Chris Westoby
Wednesday 19 May | 18:00 | Microsoft Teams
Book now >>

Following the publication of his autofiction book A Death In The Family, Karl Ove Knausgaard was met with acclaim and contempt regarding the choices he made as a writer. He portrayed his youth with brutal honesty, but by so doing also wrote openly about other people in his life and even included their real names. Some critics were mesmerised by the excruciating detail Knausgaard applied even to everyday routines, while others felt it was self-indulgence at its worst. 

Life writing seems to attract divisive reactions. There’s no wonder we approach it so cautiously or avoid it altogether. But in this apprehension, we may find inspiration to write about the self, not restriction. This session invites you to interrogate the approaches and the ethics of life writing: How do you gain the confidence to write about yourself? What benefits might it have to your wellbeing? What might hold you back from it? At what point have you said too much? 

Within this discussion, we will try some writing of our own.

Teacher: Dr Chris Westoby

Dr Chris Westoby is Programme Director of the MA Creative Writing (Online). He writes about mental health from an experiential standpoint; his first book, The Fear Talking (2020), is the true story of how his condition first collided with early adulthood. He now applies the same methods of research found in Creative Writing to other subjects, including gender inequality in higher education institutions and social media’s effect in the aftermath of a suicide.

Find out more about the MA Creative Writing (Online) >>

Find out more about the MA English (Creative Writing and English Literature) course >>

Alumni Masterclass: Creative Writing – Life Writing with Dr Chris Westoby
Wednesday 19 May | 18:00 | Microsoft Teams
Book now >>

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