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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Advanced
  • 11 Weeks

Master Personal Essay

No Longer Enrolling

  • $670.00 Non-Member
  • $645.00 Member

Class Description

In this advanced course, experienced students working on narrative 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 covered may include Esmé Weijun Wang, Minda Honey, Michele Thomas, Alison Kinney, Jeanna Kadlec, s.e. smith, and Patrice Gopo. At least one of these authors will Skype into the class to talk about their craft and process for their essay.

We’ll cover submitting your essays for publication and working with editors, and the essays editor at Longreads, Sari Botton, will Skype into the class to answer questions about the writing, submitting, and editorial process. By the end of the course, you’ll have submitted work to the class for critique four times (one piece should be a revision of a previously workshopped essay), and you’ll have fine-tuned at least one essay for submission to publications. Students will be given responsibility to help shape the class, decide what topics the workshop will focus on, and will at times be asked to make short presentations. 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.

If you have any technical difficulties filling out this application, please email [email protected].

Note: Class does not meet on July 3rd.

Important dates:

The application deadline for this class has been EXTENDED to Monday, May 27th at 11:59PM.

The payment deadline for admitted students is Friday, May 31st.

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; copy your answer to question 1 from the application and paste it into this field. This page will also ask you to upload a writing sample. Your writing sample and application (from step 1) should all be contained in a single document. Use the "choose file" button to locate your combined application and writing sample. Once you have located and uploaded your combined application & writing sample, click the "Apply" button. You will receive a confirmation email once our system has received your submission.

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. 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!