Submission Only
Online: Zoom

Advanced Personal Essay Workshop

10 Mondays from 6:00pm-9:00pm (EST), starting September 18th.
Online: Zoom
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Level: Advanced
Adult (18+)
This class is full

In this advanced course, experienced students working on narrative and hybrid-genre personal essays will receive support, guidance, and feedback. We'll discuss elements of craft at a high level; try new forms, techniques, voices, and structures; and develop strategies for revision. Prompts, exercises, readings and discussion will help you see your own essays with fresh eyes. Our readings will emphasize texts by writers from historically marginalized groups. These may include but are not limited to Hanif Abdurraqib, Elissa Washuta, Julietta Singh, Larissa Pham, and T. Fleischmann.

By the end of the course, you’ll have submitted work to the class for critique and feedback from your classmates and workshop facilitator three times. You will be given the responsibility to submit questions for feedback along with your work and given the responsibility to shape and facilitate workshops for your writing that best meet your needs for each particular draft, informed by Felicia Rose Chavez's model of the Anti-Racist Writing Workshop. Prior to each class you'll be expected to read a published essay assigned for discussion, in addition to reading and preparing feedback on the three essays presented for workshop that meeting. You'll also be expected to submit a complete draft of an essay for workshop three times throughout the course.

Only experienced essay writers who have taken previous narrative nonfiction workshops at GrubStreet or elsewhere should apply. While we will not be workshopping our first class meeting, we will begin workshopping in the second class, so all students should be prepared to submit a full draft of an essay for feedback a few days prior to the second class meeting. Space is limited to 9 students to foster a closer and more rigorous learning experience.

Please Note: Class does not meet on September 25th and October 9th (Indigenous People's Day). 

Important dates:

Applications are now closed. Applications submitted afer September 4th, 2023, at 11:59PM (EST) will not be reviewed. The payment deadline for admitted students is Monday, September 11th.

To apply, please click the red "SEE DIRECTIONS TO APPLY" button in the top right corner of this page. This application will ask you to detail your workshop experience. It will also ask you to upload a 5-10 page writing sample. Please make sure this writing sample is in Microsoft Word, double-spaced, and in 12-point font. For tracking purposes, your name should appear in the file name (e.g. Smith.Memoir Title.Submission). Decisions will be emailed to applicants approx. 1 week after the deadline. You can also track the status of your application in your Grubstreet profile. Please make sure your application is complete before you finally click "APPLY." If you have any technical difficulties filling out this application, please email [email protected]. You will receive a confirmation email once our system has received your submission.

Class Format

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Scholarship Information

Please note: In order to be eligible for acceptance into an advanced class, you must submit an application via the “See Directions to Apply” button above. You can then submit a separate scholarship application via the “Apply for Scholarship” button. We cannot consider applicants who only fill out a scholarship application without applying to the class itself.

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

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Leora Fridman
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Previous Students Say

  • "This Kicked My Butt"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


  • Personal Essay

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