Short Courses

Coming soon! Memoir: Writing your Story, Real and Imagined

Join Michelle Elvy, writer and editor and once-upon-a time historian from New Zealand for a course in writing memoir. The course will consist of discussions and exercises with a focus around building voice and creating believable story arcs around material that is drawn from memory – and the space that we need to examine between memory and reality.

You will be introduced to a variety of memoir writing – from straight narrator to graphic novel to diary-like writing to creative non-fiction small story writing. You will also have the opportunity to share and talk about the stories you have written.

The course aims to examine what makes a particular memoir feel ‘real’, and why some resonate so deeply with us. The course will also discuss topics that include establishing your own voice, building the world for your memories/ memoir writing, the fallibility of memory, the gaps between the stories we tell, and how to accommodate them as well as the truth in storytelling.

About the trainer
Michelle Elvy is an accomplished writer, editor, and once-upon-a-time historian based in Dunedin, New Zealand. She shares her expertise as an online instructor at 52|250 A Year of Writing and contributes to the literary community as the editor of Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction and the chair of New Zealand's National Flash Fiction Day. Additionally, Michelle serves as the reviews editor for Landfall, the oldest literary journal in NZ. 

Her widely published and anthologised works encompass stories, poetry, travel writing, and reviews. Notable among her literary achievements are the books the everrumble (2019) and the other side of better (2021), as well as anthologies like ’Bonsai: Best small stories of Aotearoa New Zealand’ (2018) and ‘Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand’ (2020). She is currently working alongside  Ihimaera on ‘Love in the Time of COVID: A Chronicle of a Pandemic’, a forthcoming anthology scheduled for 2023 featuring voices from around the world.

Note: Course trainers are, on occasion, subject to change with short notice.



No. of classes Days Dates Time
8 Every Sat 17 Feb – 13 Apr 2024 10:00am – 12:00pm

Application Information

Course materials

Laptop and writing materials.

Who should attend

Art and language students, prospective art students, art enthusiasts, teachers and/or anyone interested in memoir writing.

Eligible schemes / subsidies:
Claimable under SkillsFuture Credit
National Silver Academy (NSA) subsidy


Note: Course fee not inclusive of application fee and GST.

(after National Silver Academy (NSA) subsidy)

Note: NSA fee is inclusive of GST.