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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
  • Intermediate

Making the Personal Universal in Nonfiction

No Longer Enrolling

  • $225.00 Non-Member
  • $215.00 Member

Class Description

The power of writing lies in its ability to convey universal truths about what it means to be human. But in nonfiction, we’re up against a seemingly paradoxical task: making our personal, specific narratives feel large and ubiquitous. And for those of us with “weird,” unusual stories, it can be especially difficult to write and market our memoirs or personal essays for a wide audience.

This four-week class will address strategies for giving your specific story universal appeal. Each week, we’ll look at writers who’ve successfully turned their “niche” stories into far-reaching bestsellers – Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, Jerald Walker, Jesmyn Ward, among others – and discuss tactics for applying these lessons to our own writing. Classes will focus on craft lessons and writing exercises. Please note that there will be no formal workshopping of student work, though there may be on-the-spot feedback of in-class writing.

Expect to leave this class with lots of new writing and a toolbox of ways to make your nonfiction "sing" for the masses.


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

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!