New Class!

Master Narrative Personal Essay

12 Tuesdays from 6:00pm-9:00pm, starting January 10th
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: Advanced
Adult (18+)
This class is full

In this advanced course, experienced students working on narrative personal essays will receive support, guidance, and feedback. We'll discuss elements of craft at a high level; try new forms, techniques, voices, and structures; and develop strategies for revision. Prompts, exercises, readings by exemplary authors, and discussion will help you see your own narrative personal essays with fresh eyes. We’ll cover submitting your essays for publication and working with editors, and a professional writer or editor will visit the class to answer questions about the writing, submitting, and editorial process. By the end of the course, you’ll have submitted work to the class for critique four times (one piece should be a revision of a previously workshopped essay), and you’ll have fine-tuned at least one essay for submission to publications. Students will be given responsibility to help shape the class, decide what topics the workshop will focus on, and will at times be asked to make short presentations. Space is limited to 9 students to foster a closer and more rigorous learning experience. Only experienced essay writers who have taken previous narrative nonfiction workshops at GrubStreet or elsewhere should apply.

Important dates:

The application deadline for this class is December 19th at 11:59pm. Applicants can expect to learn of decisions 1-2 weeks after the deadline via email. You can also track the status of your application in your Grubstreet profile. Please make sure your application is complete before clicking "Apply." If you have any technical difficulties filling out this application, please email [email protected] 

Tuition is due December 22nd at 12pm. 

To apply, please use the following steps:

Step 1: Download and complete the application questions at this link. You can also copy and paste the application questions into a single Word document. Be sure to paste your 10-page maximum writing sample below the application questions, following the directions on the application at the link provided. Please make sure this writing sample is in Microsoft Word, double-spaced, and in 12-point font. For tracking purposes, your name should appear in the file name (e.g. Smith.Essay Title.Submission). Once you complete and save this document, follow the directions in step 2 (below) to upload your application.

Step 2:  Please click the red "SEE DIRECTIONS TO APPLY" button in the top right corner of this page. This application will ask you to detail your workshop experience; copy your answer to question 1 from the application and paste it into this field. This page will also ask you to upload a writing sample. Your writing sample and application (from step 1) should all be contained in a single document. Use the "choose file" button to locate your combined application and writing sample. Once you have located and uploaded your combined application & writing sample, click the "Apply" button. You will receive a confirmation email once our system has received your submission.

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button in the top right corner of this pageIn order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee's decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

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Ethan Gilsdorf
See Bio


  • Lecture
  • Workshop
  • Instructor Feedback
  • In-Class Writing
  • Homework
  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing Prompts
  • Study Published Writing
  • Get Feedback
  • Generate New Work


  • Personal Essay

Commitment Level



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