This September I am teaching a 10-week memoir writing course at the Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre in Whitstable, Kent. And to celebrate the birthday of Your Memoir which was one year old on Friday, August 10, I am giving away a place on this course worth £80. Yay!

The classes will take place each Monday between 12.30 and 2.30pm and all the details are can be found on the link above.

If you would like to enter this competition and participate in these classes, please email me at with the answer to the question below by midday on Friday, August 31*. I will put all the names in a hat, pull one out at random, and announce the winner by 5pm on that same day.

Competition question:

On what date did Your Memoir celebrate its first birthday?

Good luck everyone. I look forward to meeting the lucky winner in September.


*I have extended this date again (!) as the Whitstable Times are kindly mentioning the competition on Thursday, August 23 and I want to give people ample opportunity to enter. Thanks for being so patient those of you that have already entered 🙂



I met with a printer friend of mine this morning and he told me this touching story…

Several years ago, a man came to him with his autobiography and asked for it to be printed in hardback. Eighty copies to be given to friends and family.
“Certainly.” said the printer.
“How long will it take?” asked the author.
The printer ummed and ahhed. “Two weeks?”
“Any chance you can do it in a week?”
“I’ll try.”
A couple of days later a sample of the book was ready and the man came into the printer’s to see and approve it.
“That’s great,” he told the printer.
“I’d like to do a laminated cover,” said the printer.
“How long will that take?”
“A couple of days extra.”
“I’ll pass then.”
“It’ll protect the book forever.”
“It’s fine as it is. When will it be ready?”
“Any chance for Friday?”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
On Thursday, the author phoned the printer.
“What time tomorrow? First thing?” he enquired, hopefully.
The printer smiled. “I’m afraid not. It will be late afternoon.”
“Any chance for first thing?”
The printer stayed up all night getting the book done. He delivered it to the man at 8.45am on the Friday. The author was delighted and took the book with tears in his eyes. He thanked the printer.
The man died at midday.

This was several years ago but telling me today, the printer cried at the memory. “I had no idea the man was dying,” he told me. “He was hanging on for his book.”

This reminded me just how precious memoirs are.