Residential Masterclass 2018: Advanced Memoir

Advanced Memoir

with Patti Miller

A six-day advanced memoir residential masterclass with Patti Miller, at Varuna, the National Writers' House in the Blue Mountains, NSW

pattimillerMonday 19 November to Sunday 25 November 2018
Applications close 22 August

The Advanced Memoir Residency includes:

Private writing time in your own writing studio
• Small group tutorials with Patti Miller exploring techniques on Writing Memoir (three half-day sessions)
• A one-on-one consultation with a Varuna consultant to talk about your current writing project
• Six days' accommodation at Varuna including meals 


About Patti Miller

Patti's approach to life writing has grown out of her love and knowledge of the art of writing and literature as well as her lifelong fascination with the way stories construct our sense of self.

Because memoir writing also has an inner dimension – it can be both healing and awakening – she understands the importance of the magical art and craft of the word and the story. She is a writer and knows that there is a transforming power in the discipline of writing, which lifts the stories of our lives out of history and testament and into Art.

Her teaching and manuscript advice to others is not theoretical – it comes directly from her own daily experience of the joys and challenges of her own writing. She has been published in literary magazines and nationals newspapers since the late 1970s and is the author of eight books:

  • The best-selling Writing Your Life (writing text) A&U, 1994; new ed 2001
  • The Last One Who Remembers (memoir) A&U, 1997
  • Child (novel) A&U, 1998
  • Whatever The Gods Do (memoir) Vintage Random House, 2003
  • The Memoir Book (writing text) A&U, 2007
  • The Mind of a Thief (narrative nonfiction) UQP, May 2012 (long-listed for the Stella Prize and the Nita Kibble Award and short-listed for WA Premiers Prize)
  • Ransacking Paris (narrative nonfiction) UQP, 2015
  • Writing True Stories (writing text) A&U, July 2017

Patti has a wide knowledge of literature and writing practice, which creates a well-informed context for her guidance.

Further information about Patti and her workshops can be found on her website:

What Writers Say

Patti Miller's program differs from other courses I’ve attended in its emphasis on memoir as a literary craft. She takes a personal view to the craft of storytelling that allows for a diversity of approach while emphasising the structural elements of the form... If you’re into memoir writing, Patti Miller's workshop will leave you keen to write more, with an eye for the detail and a sense of where to go next. And paradoxically, there’s the added excitement of the not quite knowing where that might be. To me, this mystery is essential to writing about your life.
Elisabeth Hanscombe, 2013 participant

How much does it cost

The fee for the residency is $1,950 including accommodation, workshops and meals.
A special discount is available to all financial Varuna Alumni of $1,650.

How to apply

Varuna is now accepting applications for the Advanced Memoir Residential Masterclass with Patti Miller.

Writers interested in participating in the Advanced Memoir Residential Masterclass need to submit a short Expression of Interest (EOI) to Varuna through an online application. Your EOI should include a sample of your work and a cover sheet with your name and contact details.

Please see below about preparing your submission and uploading it on the online application form.

The deadline for applications is 22 August 2018.
Applicants will be notified of the selection outcome by 5 September 2018.

More information

If you need further information about the application process please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 02 4782 5674. Regarding the residency please contact the Varuna Creative Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Residents will need to have their own copy of Patti Miller's Writing True Stories

Preparing your submission

Submission (electronic copy only)
Please download the application cover sheet, fill out and attach your submission (a half page synopsis and up to five pages that are indicative of your most recent and relevant work), ready to upload when you complete the online application form.

The cover sheet includes:
• Your personal contact details
• Brief publication history
• What you would most like to gain or work on during the Residential Masterclass

Your application cover sheet and submission should be saved and uploaded as a single PDF document.
Please save your EOI as a PDF with the file name: YOUR NAME ADV MEMOIR EOI (eg MARY SMITH ADV MEMOIR EOI)

Online Application Form

Fill out all the fields and upload your prepared EOI submission.

In submitting an application, applicants agree to the following conditions:
• Applications must comply with the program's requirements.
• Applicants must be 18 years or older.
• Submitted material must be the applicant's own original work.
• Submissions including application cover sheet must be uploaded (electronically) by the deadline.
• Application materials are not returned under any circumstances. After the selection process is finished, materials are responsibly disposed of.
• Individual feedback is not provided to unsuccessful applicants.
• Varuna retains information from application forms for one year.

When you submit your application you will see a 'Thank You' screen indicating that your submission has been uploaded and the data sent to Varuna.
Your application is complete. If there are any issues, Varuna will be in touch by email.

Disclaimer: Varuna reserves the right to make changes to its advertised programs and all applications are accepted subject to this proviso.

CLICK HERE to go to the online APPLICATION FORM 

Varuna is now accepting applications for the Advanced Memoir Residential Masterclass and applications close 22 August 2018