Start to Write: Memoir and Nonfiction

w/ Patti Miller

Do you have a true story to tell? Is it your story, or the story of someone else? Start to Write is the writing series at the Faber Writing Academy designed to kick-start your writing life.

15 – 17 November
3 x evening sessions 6.30 – 8.30pm (AEDT)

Course fee: $ 195/$ 165.75 alumni

Over three nights, you’ll get the hands-on teaching you need to start writing from acclaimed tutor and memoirist Patti Miller.

• Discover the tools you need to start writing.
• Overcome common problems shared by emerging writers.
• Understand the fundamentals of nonfiction.

Patti Miller will be teaching her four-month intensive program Writing True Stories from February to June 2023. Bookings are now open.

Writers you'll be working with:

Patti Miller

Patti Miller is an award-winning memoirist and nonfiction writer, whose 2012 book, The Mind of a Thief, was longlisted for the Stella Prize and the Nita Kibble Prize, shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Prize for Non-Fiction, winner of the NSW Premier’s Prize for History and on the syllabus for English for the VCE in Victoria. She is…

Course outline


  • Finally sitting down to do it
  • Overcoming ‘one day I will do it’ syndrome
  • Getting ready for the journey
  • Gathering your materials – what you need to pack, what you need to leave behind
  • Facing the fear and doing it anyway
  • Readings, discussion and writing exercise


  • Genre – what kind of a book are your writing?
  • What is memoir and creative nonfiction exactly?
  • How is it different from other genres?
  • Great memoir and nonfiction books
  • What are the skills you will need?
  • What can be transferred from your own writing background as a journalist? academic? science writer? blog writer? Business writer? great email writer?
  • Readings, discussion and writing exercise


  • Ways to begin
  • What engages your attention in a beginning?
  • What engages other readers?
  • Where do you want your reader to go?
  • How to point your reader in the right direction
  • Writing that opening page
  • Readings, discussion and writing exercise

Praise for this course

‘I thought Patti had a lovely manner and the three areas we talked about – overcoming blocks and fears/ the genre/ and beginnings were very useful to help order my thoughts for the book I am trying to write.” 2021

‘I loved the way Patti was enthusiastic about each and every writers contribution. She has also thought deeply about this genre. I had so many questions arising from these sessions and felt energised to explore these on my own.’ 2021

‘Patti provides a brilliant mix of knowledge, skill and deep listening as part of her teaching structure. Her humour and reality based communication style only compliment her professionalism and sense of authenticity as a person.’ 2019

How to Book

$195.00 – Purchase Includes 10% tax