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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Personal Narrative Essentials: Using Research and Immersion

No Longer Enrolling

  • $150.00 Non-Member
  • $130.00 Member

Class Description

Whether returning to your hometown, interviewing a family member, embarking on a hiking excursion or exploring the city archives, immersion and research can enhance your personal narratives. In this one-day intensive seminar, we’ll examine immersion writing, also known as "gonzo" or "stunt" journalism, and explore the opportunities afforded by reporting and investigation in your memoirs and essays. Inspired by masters such as A.J. Jacobs, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Bryson, and Robin Hemley, and via exercises, you’ll learn the basics of personal field reporting, researching and interviewing. A short “field” exercise (which can be completed indoors or out) will allow you to get out there into the streets of Boston to apply what we’ve We’ll end by designing a research and/or immersion plan applicable to any current or future project. Wear walking shoes and dress for the weather, and bring a small pocket notebook, and a device with camera and voice/video recording capabilities.

Part of The Personal Narrative Essentials series taught by Ethan Gilsdorf. Take every class in the series or simply choose the craft topics that are relevant to the challenges you face in your work. Classes include:

Personal Narrative Essentials: Finding Your Narrative Arc

Personal Narrative Essentials: Structure and Form

Personal Narrative Essentials: Using Research and Immersion

Personal Narrative Essentials: Playing With Voice

Personal Narrative Essentials: How to Publish

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.

Scholarships Format/Location

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 detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!