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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)
  • 5 Weeks

Freelance Essentials: Writing Commentaries, Op-eds & Personal Essays for Publication

No Longer Enrolling

  • $330.00 Non-Member
  • $305.00 Member

Class Description

This class is geared specifically for students wishing to write and get their personal essays, commentaries, and op-eds published. One of the best ways to do this is to write pieces specifically targeted to a single publication. In this intensive workshop, we'll do just that. Students will write personal essays and commentaries that adhere as closely to a publication's format and style as possible. First, we will examine work that appears in both local and national newspapers, magazines, and websites (such as the New York Times' "Modern Love," the Boston Globe Magazine's "Connections," WBUR's Cognoscenti blog, major newspaper op-ed pages,,, and elsewhere). Then we will learn the structure, technique, and style of these common forms and emulate them in assignments to be workshopped. Readings and craft lessons will help students practice opening "ledes," foreshadowing, scene and summary, storytelling, time travel, self-as-character, and making essays timely and reactive to the news and the world outside. Towards the end of the workshop, students will practice writing pitch or "query" letters to send out their work. Students will be required to write three essays or commentaries, and at least one of them will be workshopped in class (or two, depending on number of students). Students will also be required to send at least one essay out for publication. This workshop may include a guest talk from an editor (TBA).

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!