Special Note:

How Will AI Change Writing?—Join our FREE Writers' Stage event "Writing for Change: Exploring The Question of AI" next Wednesday 4/17.

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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Advanced

Advanced Essay Workshop - Remote!

No Longer Enrolling

  • $670.00 Non-Member
  • $645.00 Member

Class Description

In this advanced course, experienced students working on narrative, long-form 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. Authors covered will include but are not limited to: Hilton Als, Cinelle Barnes, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Mandy Len Catron, Alexander Chee, Morgan Jerkins, T Kira Madden, Toni Morrison, Grace Talusan, Jia Tolentino, and Jose Antonio Vargas. At least one of these authors will Skype into the class to talk about their craft and process for their essay.


By the end of the course, you’ll have submitted work for feedback 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. (Please note that you will receive feedback from your classmates on three of your submissions, and feedback from the instructor on all four of your submissions.) Students will be given responsibility to help shape the class and decide what topics the workshop will focus on by submitting questions about their writing along with their essay draft for each submission. 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 is now closed. Applications submitted after 8/31/20 will not be reviewed, and will not receive a response.

The payment deadline for admitted students is Monday, September 7th.

To apply, 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.

This class will be hosted using live Zoom meetings! You will be able to participate in class via Zoom videoconference from wherever you’re most comfortable. All you’ll need is a laptop or a phone! 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 via Zoom–no need to download anything or sign up for Zoom in advance! If you have questions about remote learning, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] for more information.

For a glimpse at how remote learning works, look no further than the deep Zoom discussion of writing and literature below:

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. 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!

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!