Finding the Centre
A Life Writing Masterclass With Colin Grant SOLD OUT

Are you keen to write your life story but not sure how to go about it? Colin Grant will help you kickstart and shape your unique story for the page.

Photo of a person wearing glasses

All writing begins with experience, but how you translate that experience is what matters when crafting your own story for the page.  

This masterclass is for writers who wish to transform the truth and experience of their own lives into memoir, with the focus on developing techniques of how to tell your personal story.    

 Colin Grant, an experienced tutor and author, will guide you to the centre of your story, whilst exploring the technical and creative opportunities and challenges of life writing. 

What will you do in the masterclass? 

The course will include short practical exercises in beginning, structuring, and ending your story. There will be group discussion and brief one-to-one consultation. Bring a short example of your writing you’d like help with.  

Participants are encouraged to read Colin’s memoir Bageye at the Wheel in advance of attending (although this is not a pre-requisite for participation in the course, but we think might be of great interest and help for burgeoning life-writers).  

Who is this for? 

Budding life writers – maybe you’ve started writing from your life but are unsure how to proceed, or maybe you’ve always wanted to start writing your memoir but are not sure how to go about it.   

Access Notice 

  • This masterclass is auto-captioned.

  • If you require BSL interpretation to take part, please email us at [email protected] when booking your space by 23 March and we will try to secure BSL interpretation for you. Spread the Word will cover this cost.

  • All our online events have a relaxed format; you are welcome to take breaks at any point and turn your camera off. All our online sessions have breaks.

  • We’ll send through any reading seven days in advance. We can create adapted handouts to writers attending our workshops and events by request.

  • Our online workshops and events take place on Zoom. As standard, we will send the weblinks to participants a week in advance. If you require the dial in phone number, email us [email protected] and we can send it through to you. Please take a look at Zoom’s accessibility info:

  • If you have additional access needs, please contact us at [email protected] and we will support you to participate in this event.

Bursary Places 

We have 5 free bursary places available to writers who are: 

  • Carers; 

  • Single parents; 

  • Care leavers; 

  • Experience of being homeless; 

  • Ex-offenders; 

  • Unemployed;  

  • On a low income either on benefits or a minimum wage zero hours contract. 

If you would like to apply for a bursary place please email [email protected] and mention which category you belong to and why you would like to take part in the course. The deadline is Friday 19 March 2021. We will notify bursary applicants two weeks before the masterclass is due to take place. 


About Colin

Colin Grant

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Colin Grant is an author, historian, and Associate Fellow in the Centre for Caribbean Studies. His books include: Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey; and a group biography of the Wailers, I&I, The Natural Mystics. His memoir of growing up in a Caribbean family in 1970s Luton, Bageye at the Wheel, was shortlisted for the Pen/Ackerly Prize, 2013. Grant’s history of epilepsy, A Smell of Burning, was a Sunday Times Book of the Year 2016 

As a producer for the BBC, Grant wrote and directed a number of radio drama documentaries including African Man of Letters: The Life of Ignatius Sancho; A Fountain of Tears: The Murder of Federico Garcia Lorca; and Wheel and Come Again: a History of Jamaica’s Reggae.  

He is a regular tutor of creative writing for Arvon, Sierra Nevada College and City University, London.  

Grant also writes for a number of newspapers and journals including the Guardian, GQ, Telegraph, TLS, Prospect, New York Review of Books and Granta.  Grant’s next book, Homecoming: Voices of Caribbean Migration to Britain will be published by Jonathan Cape in 2019.