Intro to the Personal Essay: Online

6 weeks online; no live meetings. Class opens February 5th.
Online (WetInk)
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Level: Introductory
Adult (18+)
This class is full

Is it time to move your writing from your journal to a public audience? Do you want to write your way into understanding your own experiences and beliefs? Intrigued by how to tell true stories in unexpected ways? And are you too busy or too far away to attend an in-person class? Introduction to the Personal Essay Online will introduce you to this inventive form, with the flexibility of scheduling your own weekly attendance. Although you will be asked to complete coursework and provide feedback to each other’s writing each week, there will be no time-specific online meetings or webinars to attend.

Over six lessons, you will write two new essays in two different forms—a collage essay and a hermit crab essay—to see how the characteristics of a specific form can spark unexpected directions in your writing, and you’ll revise one of these essays. Weekly instructor videos, readings, and writing exercises will explore craft elements including scene and summary, reflection, narrator and character, and revision. Mini-exercises focused on language will help you enliven your essays at the sentence level. You will also learn how to provide, listen to, and incorporate constructive peer critiques. By the end of the course, you will have generated two short essays and revised one.

*Note that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Assignments will be given on a weekly basis. Students will have access to the online class portal starting at 5pm on the first day of class. Instructions for logging onto the online portal will be emailed to registered students before 5pm 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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Sari Boren
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Previous Students Say

  • "Very Well-Organized"
  • "Great for Newbies"
  • "Generative"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


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


  • Personal Essay
  • Nonfiction

Commitment Level



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