The Personal Essay in Progress

8 Tuesdays from 6:00pm-9:00pm, starting February 5th
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
12 seats max
This workshop is designed for writers who are already working on a variety of personal essay projects and want to receive regular feedback on them in a supportive and constructively critical environment. Typically, each week, three students will bring in up to 5 pages (approx. 1,500 words maximum) of a personal essay draft to be workshopped the following week. Depending on enrollment, each student should expect to present work for the workshop at least three times. Based on students' needs, goals, and issues as they arise, the workshop will also include discussions on craft of personal essay writing, and reading of exemplary works in the genre.  The instructor will offer written feedback on one complete draft of any single essay. For intermediate and advanced students. Since the content of personal essays often reflect intimate issues, controversial views, and real-life situations, we will ensure that conversations around the work -and its content- takes place in a safe, supportive, and respectful space. The goal is for you to leave with finished pieces that, through solid feedback, reflect the best approach for you and your work. The workshop will also include discussions on craft of personal essay writing, and reading of exemplary works in the genre, including but not limited to: James Baldwin, Eula Biss, Alexander Chee, Brian Doyle, Morgan Jerkins, and Zadie Smith.

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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E.B. Bartels
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Previous Students Say

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


  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Lecture
  • Class Discussion
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


  • Personal Essay
  • Literary Journalism
  • Nonfiction

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