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  • Workshop
  • In-Person: Seaport
  • Adult (18+)
  • 5 Weeks

Intro to the Personal Essay

No Longer Enrolling

  • $375.00 Non-Member
  • $360.00 Member

Class Description

Ready to get your life stories out of your journal and into the world? If you want to learn the art of writing personal essays, but have no idea where to begin (or you need a refresher), this course is for you. Over six weeks, you will learn the essentials of the personal essay and put them into practice by writing your own drafts. Each week, we will discuss an element of craft, including scene and summary, reflection, narrator and character, and the ethics of writing from life. We'll study published examples from authors like Brenda Miller, Neema Avashia, Yvonne Liu and Ross Gay. To put what we learn into practice, we’ll use prompts and different essay forms to inspire our own drafts. During the second half of the course, you’ll have the chance to workshop and revise at least one essay draft with the class. By the end of the course, you will have generated at least two essay drafts and the insight and inspiration to continue developing your essays.

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 in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.


Covid-19 Update:

GrubStreet's space will be mask-optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in person.


Space Accessibility:

Our space is ADA accessible with automatic door openers, ADA-compliant restrooms, desk and table spacing, braille signage, and elevator. Our classrooms can be equipped with ALS for hard of hearing individuals. We cannot guarantee a scent-free environment. For more accessibility requests, please contact our Operations team at [email protected] or (617) 695-0075.