Immerse Yourself! Using Research and Journalism in Essays and Memoir: Online

6 weeks online; NO LIVE MEETINGS. Class opens June 16th.
Online (WetInk)
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Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
12 seats max
Only 3 spots left!

Whether returning to your hometown, interviewing a family member, embarking on a hiking excursion, exploring the city archives, or eating nothing but smoothies for a week, immersion and research can enhance your personal narratives, whether an essay or book-length memoir. We’ll examine immersion writing, also known as "gonzo" or "stunt" journalism, and explore the opportunities afforded by reporting, research, re-enactment and investigation in your work. You'll be inspired by masters such as A.J. Jacobs, Sherri Booker, Bill Bryson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Luis Alberto Urrea, David Foster Wallace and Robin Hemley, and via exercises, you’ll learn the basics of personal field reporting, researching and interviewing. In the first half, you'll design your own research, reporting and/or immersion plan for a current or project and execute it, then write about it. The second part of the class will involve workshopping and getting feedback on what you've written, either as a section of a book-length memoir project or stand alone essay.

You’ll come out of this class with a draft of an immersion narrative and the skills to apply these techniques to other projects in the future.

*NOTE that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Weekly lessons and assignments open each Wednesday. Students will receive an invitation to Wet Ink, our online class platform, before 5pm on the first day of class.


Scholarship Information

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.


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Ethan Gilsdorf
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Frequent Deadlines"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons
  • Class Discussion
  • Writing Homework


  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Personal Essay
  • Literary Journalism
  • Nonfiction
  • Professional Development & Skills

Commitment Level



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