Writing: a Blend of Invention and Reality



Product Description


Madame Bovary, c’est moi is the famous phrase that Gustave Flaubert is said to have uttered during the obscenity trial to which his famous masterpiece was subjected. In A Private Affair and Johnny The Partisan, meanwhile, Beppe Fenoglio drew upon his own experience to tell the story of the latter years of the Second World War. In the book The Adversary, Emmanuel Carrère describes the tragedy of a man who murders his family, but this true story also reveals aspects of the author’s own tale.
In short, can any writer really deny that there is a part of themselves in their own work, even if it is hidden, remote and unfathomable? Even when the work is not autobiographical, the writer – whether willingly or not – is in there somewhere.
Lesson by lesson, this course will uncover what it means to write about yourself and to invent. We will look to define the term “autobiography”, we will move from reality to fiction, and we will arrive at an increasingly precise understanding of the right degree of distance between the facts and the aspects of a real-life event that we truly want to relate. We will find out which tools are indispensable in a writer’s workshop, we will shift between genres, and we will analyse both novels and short stories.
Then it will be our turn to write: while each student will work on his or her own story, we will constantly exchange ideas and opinions on the pieces – this is the only way to learn.

Who knows if, at the end of this journey between fiction and reality, we will eventually grasp the truth behind the claim that every author does nothing but write and rewrite the same story – a tangle of strength, or maybe pain – in infinite ways. Or perhaps, in the quest for the perfect story, it is true that when authors write about themselves they speak directly to the human soul, and thus to each individual reader.

Lessons begin in October and end in March, with a Christmas break in the middle. Remember that this is a Longform Classi-fy: in all, you will attend 17 lessons, one a week, which alternate between theory and editing work. You’ll then visit Scuola Holden for the last lesson (number 18).

I’d like to enroll, how can I pay?
If you want to make a bank transfer, email us at, and we will send you the details. If you want to pay online with PayPal, add the course to your cart and follow the instructions.

How does Classi-fy work?
You’ll have to follow a weekly timetable of appointments, which can be video lessons or notes to read. You’ll have deadlines to write and share your homework on Classi-fy website. You’ll read what your classmates write and you’ll be able to comment or receive feedback on what you write. You’ll be able to meet each other and talk about the lessons on the forum – ok, we already know you won’t only talk about that, but that’s part of the fun. Sometimes your teacher will post a video in which he publicly analyses the work of the class, but you’ll receive your personal evaluation also from your classmates, during the debate.

What are the technical skill necessary to take part to the course? Do I have to install a special program on my computer?
You’ll mainly work online, therefore all you need is the internet connection. On website you can share your documents, watch the video lessons, download teaching material and text your classmates.

What does it happen at the end of the course?
The class will come to Scuola Holden, in Turin, in order to attend the final lesson and collect your diploma. Eventually you’ll meet everyone and, if everything is right, you’ll have a beer together in Borgo Dora to celebrate.