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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Advanced
  • 10 Weeks

Advanced Personal Essay Workshop

No Longer Enrolling

  • $700.00 Non-Member
  • $670.00 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 read may include, but are not limited to: Anna Badkhen, Jenny Odell, Ishion Hutchinson, and Natalia Ginzburg.

By the end of the course, you’ll have submitted work to the class for critique at least 2 times. (Please note that you will receive feedback from both your classmates and the instructor on each of your submissions.) Students will be given the 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.

Please Note: Class does not meet on February 16th.

Important dates:

The application deadline is January 9th. Applications submitted after Januarty 9th will not be reviewed.

The payment deadline for admitted students is Monday, January 16th.

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. It will also ask you to upload a 5-10 page writing sample. 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.Memoir Title.Submission). Decisions will be emailed to applicants approx. 1 week after the deadline. You can also track the status of your application in your Grubstreet profile. Please make sure your application is complete before you finally click "APPLY." If you have any technical difficulties filling out this application, please email [email protected]. You will receive a confirmation email once our system has received your submission.



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

Please note: In order to be eligible for acceptance into an advanced class, you must submit an application via the “See Directions to Apply” button above. You can then submit a separate scholarship application via the “Apply for Scholarship” button. We cannot consider applicants who only fill out a scholarship application without applying to the class itself.

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!