Life writing

Neilsen, Philip M. (2012) Life writing. In Morley, David & Neilsen, Philip M. (Eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing. Cambridge University Press (CUP), Cambridge ; New York, pp. 133-150.

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Two hundred years ago life writing was already highly popular in the form of autobiography, memoir, biography, journals, essays and diaries. It now commands a huge share of the publishing market, as there is an enormous demand from readers for narratives based directly on 'real lives'.

There is a lot of common ground between the two main forms - autobiography/memoir and biography: both require skilled storytelling [rather than listing facts and events], research and imagination. The quality of the writing itself is crucial to the impact on the reader. A person can have an existing, worthy life but unfortunately write about it (or be written about) in a dull way. And how a person is remembered and valued can be a factor of life writing about or by them. This chapter will define and contextualise life writing, look at specific detailed examples, and offer guidance on how to write effectively.

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ID Code: 57194
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: Creative writing has become a highly professionalised academic discipline, with popular courses and prestigious degree programmes worldwide. This book is a must for all students and teachers of creative writing, indeed for anyone who aspires to be a published writer. It engages with a complex art in an accessible manner, addressing concepts important to the rapidly growing field of creative writing, while maintaining a strong craft emphasis, analysing exemplary models of writing and providing related writing exercises. Written by professional writers and teachers of writing, the chapters deal with specific genres or forms – ranging from the novel to new media – or with significant topics that explore the cutting edge state of creative writing internationally (including creative writing and science, contemporary publishing and new workshop approaches).
Keywords: life writing , memoir , biography , autobiography
ISBN: 9780521768498
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Creative Writing (incl. Playwriting) (190402)
Divisions: Current > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press
Copyright Statement: This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.
Deposited On: 14 Feb 2013 23:55
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2015 16:17

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