Online: Zoom

Making the Personal Universal in Nonfiction - Remote!

Friday, December 3rd, 10:30am-1:30pm (EST).
Online: Zoom
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Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
This class is full
The power of writing lies in its ability to convey universal truths about what it means to be human. But in nonfiction, we’re up against a seemingly paradoxical task: making our personal, specific narratives feel large and ubiquitous. And for those of us with “weird,” unusual stories, it can be especially difficult to write and market our memoirs for a broad audience.

This session will address strategies for giving your specific story universal appeal. Together we’ll look at writers who’ve successfully turned their “niche” stories into far-reaching bestsellers – Tara Westover, Jesmyn Ward, Lucy Grealy, among others – and discuss tactics for applying these lessons to our own writing. Expect to leave this session with new writing and a toolbox of ideas for making your personal essay or memoir resonate with the masses.

Expect to leave this class with lots of new writing and a toolbox of ways to make your nonfiction "sing" for the masses.

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

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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Katie Bannon
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  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback


  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Personal Essay
  • Nonfiction

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