Intro to the Personal Essay: Online
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.
Over six lessons, you will write essays in three different forms to see how the characteristics of a specific form can spark unexpected directions in your writing. Weekly craft talks, 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 critiques. And each week will include a brief self-reflection exercise to help you think more deeply about how the assignments contribute to your personal writing practice. By the end of the course, you will have made significant progress on three short essays
This class is classified as a survey, which means the focus is on introducing students to new topics and forms of writing. Though student work will be discussed, the emphasis is not on formal, instructor-driven critique, but on learning, class discussion, and writing exercises. While there are no live meetings to attend, students will be expected to complete weekly readings and exercises by a specified day each week and to contribute to online class discussions. At the end of the class, students will have the opportunity to submit one revised piece to the instructor for feedback, and recommendations on next steps. Please expect to devote 4-6 hours/week to this class.
*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.
Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To find out more, check out our scholarships page. To apply for a scholarship, click the 'APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP' button above.
Previous Students Say
- "Very Well-Organized"
- "Great for Newbies"
- "Supportive Environment"
- "Inspired Me to Write More"
- Writing Homework
- Generate New Work
- Class Discussion
- Craft Lessons
- Personal Essay