The life-cycle of an autobiography


The following are the main phases in the life of an autobiography.


1. Contact is made between an ATA Editor and a prospective narrator. This may be initiated in either directions.

2. An ATA Editor ensures that protocols and processes of the ATA Project are understood by the interested person.  In addition to written protocols, this will normally involve a conversation (telephone/skype etc) between

3. The narrator formally accepts the protocols (typically by email).


4. The Website Administrator/Manager creates a login for the narrator.

5. The narrator logs in and

  • updates his or her profile with optional information
  •  sets parameters for the account such as default access rights to his or her stories


6. The narrator creates one or more stories at their own pace, in their own good time:

  • there is no limit to the number of stories
  • there is no limit to the amount of time given to write stories
  • stories can be revised or deleted as the narrator’s discretion

The complete collection of stories by one individual is called an anthology and constitutes that person's autobiograhpy.


7. A narrator may expect some interaction with other narrators and with the ATA Editors. 

  • ATA Editors might contact the narrator directly by telephone or email to invite them to contribute further or to clarify or amplify.
  • ATA Editors may also reorganise a longer story into shorter stories where the material allows this (but will never amend the text unless authorised to do so).
  • Either ATA Editors or other narrators may post comments against stories. 

8. These forms of feedback might elicit further material from the narrator, who may

  • post replies to comments
  • amend the story
  • create a new story

The extent of any interaction between narrators and ATA Editors is not predictable at this point: it will be governed by the number of narrators, the volume of stories and the number of ATA Editors able to engage with narrators.   Similar considerations apply to interactions between narrators.

A permanent monument

9. A narrator’s stories are a permanent testimony of his or her experience.  There is no plan to remove stories or to discontinue the website.  Narrators do, however, have the option of removing their own stories from the website and also changing the accessibility of the stories eg to or from “Public”.