2469 Online: Moniack in a Month – Memoir with Chitra Ramaswamy

2469 Online: Moniack in a Month – Memoir with Chitra Ramaswamy

Date(s) - Tue 3rd Sep - Thu 26th Sep, 2024
6:30pm - 8:30pm

(Re)imagining the self

“Maybe the true purpose of my life is for my body, my sensations and my thoughts to become writing, in other words, something intelligible and universal, causing my existence to merge into the lives and heads of other people.”
Annie Ernaux

Join author and journalist Chitra Ramaswamy online for a month to excavate the profoundly complex, generous, and rewarding process of writing about oneself.  

Why write your own story? What should you give? What should you leave out? How does memoir differ from narrative/creative non-fiction, nature writing, or the personal essay? How might it accommodate these and other forms? These are just some of the questions this immersive course will explore. Memoir has become an increasingly expansive and open form in recent years, accommodating as wide a range of subjects as there are experiences in life, from climate crisis to wild swimming, investigating one’s own past to political moments and movements. At its best, it hands the world back to its reader. Memoir gifts us new perspectives. It changes us. We arise from it – from the profound power of another person sharing their story – different to how we were.  

Moniack in a Month: Memoir – (Re)imagining the self includes: 

  • a short introductory welcome session 
  • four stimulating online workshops, preceded by optional drop-in social time 
  • one 30-minute tutorial 
  • a Guest Writer event
  • a final ceilidh session – sharing of work 
  • Contact and support from your community of writers via Google Classroom (optional) 
  • Drop-ins before each workshop to help you get to know your group (optional) 
  • Support from your Moniack Mhor host
Chitra’s workshops will focus on the following themes:

Workshop 1 Why write your own story?

What is memoir, what is it not: truth, memory, and finding your way.   

Workshop 2 Reflection

Considering perspective, tone, musing, and the power of the reflective voice.

Workshop 3 – Place and time

How to locate memoir in a specific era and setting.

Workshop 4 – Composition and form

How to build the architecture of your memoir.

Guest Writer Event

In an hour-long event that will also be open to the public, writer Amy Key will read from her work and be in conversation with Chitra Ramaswamy. There will also be time for questions from the audience.



Week 1        Tuesday                      3 Sep         18:30–21:00      Welcome Session and Workshop 1

Week 2        Tuesday                    10 Sep       18:30–20:30      Workshop 2

Week 3        Tuesday                    17 Sep       18:30–20:30      Workshop 3

Week 3        Thursday                  19 Sep        20:00–21:00      Guest Writer Event 

Week 4        Tuesday                    24 Sep       18:30–20:30      Workshop 4

Week 4        Thursday                  26 Sep       18:30–20:30       Ceilidh



Your one-to-one tutorial with Chitra will be scheduled when the course starts.



Chitra Ramaswamy is an author and journalist. Her latest book, Homelands: The History of a Friendship (Canongate) is a work of creative non-fiction exploring her friendship with a 99-year-old German Jewish refugee called Henry Wuga. It won the Saltire Non-Fiction Book of the Year and was included in The Guardian’s top memoirs and biographies of 2022. Her first book, Expecting: The Inner Life of Pregnancy (Saraband), which won the Saltire First Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Polari Prize, was a memoir in nine essays tracking the nine months of pregnancy. She has contributed essays to Antlers of Water, Nasty Women, The Freedom Papers, The Bi:ble, and Message From The Skies and recently completed a commission from the Alasdair Gray Archive. She writes for The Guardian, is the restaurant critic for The Times Scotland, and broadcasts for BBC radio. She is from London and lives in Edinburgh with her partner, two children and rescue dog. She is currently working on her third book.  

Guest Writer

Amy Key is a poet and writer based in London. Her first work of non-fiction, Arrangements in Blue, was published by Jonathan Cape (UK) in April 2023 and was a book of the year in The Sunday Times and The Independent. Her essays have appeared in The World of Interiors, Granta, Vogue, The Poetry Review and elsewhere.  



The full fee for this online course is £360.  A deposit of £100 is required to secure your place, which is non-refundable after a 14-day cooling-off period. The balance payment of £260 is due six weeks before the course begins.

Bursaries are available, and you also have the option to pay in instalments, please email online@moniackmhor.org.uk to enquire.

All activity takes place on Zoom, and workshops include a short break. Moniack Mhor staff will be on hand to support you during your course. 

For more information please email online@moniackmhor.org.uk.


Please let us know in your booking form if you have any access requirements when working online so we can do our best to support you. For more information about access to our courses, please visit our Access page.

Terms and Conditions

Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking.


Ticket Type Price Spaces
Access to Online Course (Deposit) £100.00
Access to Online Course (Full Payment) £360.00


Booking Summary

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