2432 Life-Writing: Memoir and Memory with Ali Millar and Kat Lister, Guest Reader Dr Akira O’Connor

2432 Life-Writing: Memoir and Memory with Ali Millar and Kat Lister, Guest Reader Dr Akira O'Connor

Date(s) - Mon 5th Aug - Sat 10th Aug, 2024
All Day

Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire , IV4 7HT

Writing Memory: Navigate the Fallible Past

In this week-long course, Kat Lister and Ali Millar will explore memoir and memory, and where the two intersect, tackling the big question: can a writer trust such a capricious source?

Our memories are fluid and are always subject to revision and flux. During the week, expect to learn how to navigate the fallible past in order to narrate the creative present. Throughout, Lister and Miller will guide you on how to achieve objectivity in your subjective stories. How do you get to the truth? We will examine how personal writing, when embarked on honestly, can be used to challenge our thinking and that of others using the ‘I, I, I’ of reflective thought.

In addition, we’ll also be asking when it’s appropriate to step into the story, and what moral and ethical considerations arise when writing real life.

Memory researcher Dr Akira O’Connor will join the course for an evening of conversation with the tutors and guests.


Ali Millar is the author of The Last Days: a memoir of faith, desire and freedom (Ebury, 2022) and the forthcoming novel Ava Anna Ada (White Rabbit, 2024). Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The London Magazine, The Stylist and other publications. Born in Edinburgh, she now lives in London.

Kat Lister is a writer and editor based in London. Beginning her career as a music journalist at the NME, she has gone on to write widely for publications including The Guardian, Observer Magazine, Vogue, The i and The Independent. In 2017, she joined the editorial team at The Pool, becoming a features and news editor until its demise in 2019. Since her husband’s death in 2018, she has also focused on investigating her experience of grief, writing widely circulated essays and features for The Sunday Times Magazine and Sunday Times Style. Her first book, The Elements: A Widowhood, was published in September 2021 with Icon Books.

Guest Reader

Dr Akira O’Connor is an award-winning memory researcher interested in understanding the phenomenology and conscious experience of memory. His work specialises in how we make sense of conflicting information – e.g. how we feel compared to what we know to be true – and how we describe the experiences that result from this sort of difficult decision-making. Recently, he has begun working on understanding how groups of people canonise and understand knowledge. This work focuses on untangling who and what groups of people remember, and what they choose to forget.


The full fee for this course is £725. This includes your accommodation in a single room with shared bathroom, all meals, hot drinks and snacks from Monday afternoon until Saturday morning, and your tuition. For more information about the practicalities of our courses and retreats, please visit our About the Courses page.

A limited number of en-suite rooms are available, which can be booked in advance for a £50 surcharge. We will also reserve an en-suite room for anyone who may need it due to a medical condition. This will be offered out as an upgrade nearer the course start date if it is not needed.

A limited number of Twin Room places are available at a discounted price of £675 per person. When booking a Twin Room place, please tell us in the comments box which gender you are and which gender(s) you are comfortable sharing a room with. This information will remain confidential.

A deposit is required to secure your place, which is non-refundable after a 14-day cooling-off period. The balance payment of £595 is due six weeks before the course begins. Refunds are not always available – please read our Terms & Conditions for full details about our cancellation policy. If you would like to pay the full amount in advance, please call our booking office on 01463 592 828 or email info@moniackmhor.org.uk.

Bursaries are always available, and you also have the option to pay in instalments. If you have any problems paying online, or wish to discuss paying in instalments or applying for financial help, or would simply like assistance, please contact us by emailing info@moniackmhor.org.uk or phoning us on 01463 592828.


Please let us know in your booking form if you have any access requirements, for example a ground floor bedroom and / or access to a step-free accessible shower room. We also reserve one en-suite bedroom per course for anyone who may need this due to a medical condition. For more information about access to our courses, please visit our Access page.

Terms and Conditions

Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking.


This event is fully booked. Please email info@moniackmhor.org.uk to be added to the waiting list.

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