Developing Your Personal Essay
This workshop is designed for intermediate and advanced essay writers who are already working on personal essay projects and want to receive regular feedback in a supportive and constructively critical environment. The class will include in-depth workshops of student writing, discussions on the art of the personal essay, and readings of works in the genre, including but not limited to pieces by Matthew Salesses, Jerald Walker, Roxane Gay, Rachel Cusk, Barbara Kingsolver, Brent Staples, Cathy Park Hong, Rabih Alameddine, Leslie Jamison, and Jamaica Kincaid (many drawn from the Best American Essays 2020 anthology, and other sources). In-class writing prompts will encourage students to try their hand at different elements of personal essay writing. Over the course of the class, each student will submit work 2-3 times (depending on enrollment) and receive written and verbal feedback in an in-depth workshop; by the end of the course, students will have received responses from the instructor and fellow students to at least two excerpts or complete essays to guide their drafts towards revision.
Note: Since the content of personal essays often reflect intimate issues, controversial views, and real-life situations, we will ensure that conversations around the work and its content take place in a safe, supportive, and respectful space.
This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.
GrubStreet's space will be mask optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in-person.
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 more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.
Previous Students Say
- "Supportive Environment"
- "Inspired Me to Write More"
- Craft Lessons
- In-Class Writing
- Instructor Feedback
- Class Discussion
- Reading Homework
- Writing Homework
- Personal Essay
- Literary Journalism