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Advanced Autofiction 6-Month Workshop with Victoria Costello, Starts Wednesday, August 14th, 2024
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Advanced Autofiction 6-Month Workshop with Victoria Costello, Starts Wednesday, August 14th, 2024

Unit price per

Begins Wednesday, August 14th, 2024


Bi-monthly (2x each month) meetings will take place on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, from 6 to 8pm ET.

Open to Advanced writers.

Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

Taught by Victoria Costello, an Emmy Award-winning writer, teacher, and the author of six published non-fiction books, including her memoir, A Lethal Inheritance, and her debut novel of autobiographical fiction, Orchid Child (June 2023).

Read Victoria's Essay on Rediscovering the Healing Magic of Storytelling

Are you ready to transform your life-inspired manuscript from a rough draft into a viable story with believable characters and a clear theme?

The autobiographical novel or autofiction is an increasingly popular literary form for authors and readers that still doesn’t get much attention from the MFA and literary establishment.

This 6-month advanced workshop, limited to just 8 motivated writers, fills that gap for writers who want to use both their memory and imagination to find and write a deeper truth.

This workshop is for you if you’re considering fictionalizing important aspects of a story about something that happened to you. That is, you’re writing a true story that would fit neatly in the memoir category if it didn’t include these departures from memory and known facts. In other words, this is an advanced workshop for both memoirists and fiction writers who want to use both genres in a single piece of writing. This workshop will also be useful for memoirists who wish to learn more fiction writing craft to apply to a memoir in progress.

This six-month Zoom course offers a three-pronged approach to getting it done:

  1. Intensive one-on-one instructor feedback on your work in progress—a project that mixes memoir with fictionalized characters and plot elements
  2. Workshopping involving a small group of writers working on similar material. 
  3. And instructor lectures on the theory and craft of autobiographical fiction.

Advanced Autofiction is for anyone who’s previously taken Victoria Costello’s introductory workshop, When Memoir Becomes Autofiction, or those with an autofiction manuscript of at least thirty pages underway.

A maximum of eight writers will be accepted for this course with sample pages required prior to acceptance. If accepted, you will meet monthly for a two-hour live workshop with a subgroup of four fellow writers, led by the instructor, with each participant sharing a chapter (15 to 25 pages) for written and verbal critique.

Also monthly, the full class of eight writers will meet for another two-hour session consisting of instructor lectures on autofiction craft and theory along with informal group discussion. Through these two monthly meetings and individualized written and verbal feedback from the instructor, each writer will come out of this course with a solid chunk of a first draft in hand. You will have developed your story and characters and have a plan for the work’s overall structure.

These bi-monthly (twice each month) meetings will take place on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, from 6 to 8 p.m. ET.

The course starts on August 14, 2024, and ends on February 26, 2025.



Balancing Truth and Imagination: Learn how to skillfully blend memory and imagination to craft a compelling narrative that feels authentic yet transcends the limitations of traditional memoir. This workshop will empower you to navigate the delicate balance between staying true to your life experiences while also incorporating fictional elements to enhance storytelling.

Crafting Believable Characters and Themes: Learn insights and techniques for creating multidimensional characters and developing coherent themes that resonate with readers. Through instructor lectures and group discussions, you'll deepen your understanding of character development and thematic exploration, enriching your manuscript with complexity and depth.

Effective Feedback and Workshop Dynamics: Experience the benefits of constructive critique and collaborative learning in a small group setting. Receive personalized feedback from both your instructor and peers, allowing you to refine your writing skills, identify blind spots, and strengthen your manuscript through diverse perspectives and insights.

Structured Progress and Accountability: Benefit from a structured timeline and regular meetings to keep you accountable and focused on your writing goals. By participating in bi-monthly workshops and lectures, you'll make tangible progress on your manuscript, refining its structure, honing its narrative arc, and ultimately emerging with a substantial portion of a polished first draft.



 Thank you so much for your encouragement and excellent suggestions and revisions, Victoria!  —Diane G.    

“Thank you, Victoria. You have given me the encouragement I needed to feel like this is a worthwhile project.” —Pat S. 

“Victoria is dedicated to instructing her students. She offered honest, valuable feedback along with a personal touch. Her insight and sense of humor made the group comfortable and rewarding. I appreciate the encouragement she gave me and others throughout the course.”  —Paul B.

“I had a really monumental class experience. I walked away with a solid start to a first chapter, and, for the first time, concrete ideas on how to plod forward.” —Sonya C. 

“I got so much out of the class. It was informative and so much fun! It really infused some life back into me, which was the hope." —Alison L.

I had no idea what to expect from this class and was very pleasantly surprised when it felt like the right fit. The depth of the classes and the feedback from the classmates and your critique was insightful and helpful. Thank you for giving me a pleasing experience on my journey of writing. —Jonette S.    

Thank you so much, Victoria! Your notes have been of great help to me. I also thank you for your warm words at the end. It was a pleasure for me too to be in this class. —Anca P.    

Thank-you for all that you have shared. I have learned a lot and appreciate your time and mentoring. — Cynthia S.

As the author of an autobiographical novel in process, I've been greatly helped by Victoria's teaching on questions like how to portray living people, how to maintain dramatic tension, and who this story belongs to. She is a perceptive reader whose taste encompasses literary fiction and more popular work. As an instructor, she provides specific constructive suggestions on framing and word choice as well as pacing. She develops an esprit de corps within the class and encourages supportive yet discerning feedback on one another's workDiane Crothers, Brooklyn, New York

Our lives hold stories waiting to be told, and Victoria is helping me tell mine. She brings her professional experience as a memoirist and novelist and empathy born of her own life’s experiences to her teaching. With an eye for innovative details and suggestions for new approaches to bring a character to life, Victoria skillfully guides her students through the storytelling process, whether they be seasoned writers or newcomers to the craft. Deborah Rothschild, Talent, Oregon 

Victoria obviously knows her stuff! I found that the space she created in our class, and her guidance, to be supportive, insightful, and very helpful. As an author of memoir trying out new material, the class was invaluable. Donna M. Thomas, Ashland, Oregon

It is not easy to take complex ideas and competing theories about form and create clarity from them, but Victoria Costello has managed to do just that in her course on autofiction. My writing has benefited greatly from her capacity for synthesis, her generous spirit of feedback and sharing of resources, and her belief in the possibility of the work. What a fabulous course!” -Patti Digh, author of Life is a Verb and seven other books.

As a memoirist, this introduction to autofiction inspired me to fictionalize pieces of my book that I had been struggling with writing. I had such a great time learning new techniques that Victoria taught in addition to reviewing some foundations of writing a full length novel. Victoria helped me turn an idea into a well thought out book in an interactive and inspiring way. I highly recommend this course, no matter where you are on your writing journey.” -Holly Whiteknight, naturopathic physician and memorist

“I would recommend this class for anyone who wants to bring a memoir to life by turning it into auto-fiction. Victoria is skilled at seeing the possibilities because she has personal experience of turning a memoir into auto-fiction.” -Kanu Kogod, diversity consultant.


You can pay for the course in full or use Shop Pay or Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.
  • This online class will be taught via Zoom and is limited to 8 students. 

  • The course starts August 14, 2024 and ends February 26, 2025.

  • Bi-monthly (2x each month) meetings will take place on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, from 6 to 8pm ET.


If you have questions, please us the Chat Button or contact us via email HERE.

Instructor Victoria Costello is an Emmy Award-winning writer, teacher, and the author of six published non-fiction books, including her memoir, A Lethal Inheritance, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Memoir. Her debut novel of autobiographical fiction, Orchid Child (June of 2023). She teaches writing at Southern Oregon University and for the online platform, Memoir University. See more of her work at