Special Note:

Deadline Extended For Select Advanced Workshops—There is still time to apply for Advanced Workshops in Poetry, Memoir, and Advanced Revision and Submitting Strategies for both Fiction and Nonfiction. Applications close on Monday June 3rd at 11:59 pm EST.

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  • Workshop
  • Online: On-Demand
  • Adult (18+)

Intro to the Personal Essay

Apply for Scholarship
  • $540.00 Non-Member
  • $520.00 Member

Class Description

In this course, we will learn the essentials of the personal essay and put those essentials into practice by writing our own essays. Each week, we will focus on a different element of craft –– structure, detail, voice, persona, and more –– and explore that element through published essays by authors such as James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Roxane Gay, Joan Didion, Jenny Boully, and Alexander Chee to illustrate that week’s topic and inspire our own work. We’ll put the tools we learn to work through weekly prompts and exercises, and you will have the opportunity to write two full essay drafts, all while receiving feedback from the instructor and your fellow writers to help you get a sense of your strengths and instincts and how to build on them.

By the end of the course, you will not only be versed in the fundamentals of creative nonfiction, but you’ll come away with two essay drafts and the tools to develop them further.

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 is an Online: On-Demand class that will take place on our asynchronous online learning platform, Wet.Ink. Weekly lessons and assignments open each Wednesday. Students will receive an invitation to Wet Ink before 5pm on the first day of class! All video lectures for Online: On-Demand courses have closed captioning available. To enable, click "cc" on the toolbar of each video lecture.