Finding the Centre with Colin Grant

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.

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

This course 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 on the course?
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 it 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.

About Spread the Word’s discounted rates
London Writers Network members receive a 10% discount on Spread the Word’s paid programme of activities, and access to two free specially programmed London Writers Network events a year. You can find out more about the London Writers Network scheme here. If you are a London Writers Network member please login to receive your discount.

To see if you are eligible for a concessionary rate, please take a look at our concessions policy.

Colin Grant

Masterclass Tutor


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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.