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  • Workshop
  • School One, Providence, RI
  • Adult (18+)
  • 5 Weeks

Personal Essay and Memoir Jumpstarter: Providence

No Longer Enrolling

  • $325.00 Non-Member
  • $310.00 Member

Class Description

What elements make up a successful personal essay or memoir? How do you focus your ideas, memories, and experiences into a coherent form and make sure you’re telling a gripping and moving story? In this 6-week workshop, you'll learn and practice the fundamentals of writing personal essay and memoir. We'll look for models and inspiration from essays and book-length memoirs by authors such as Cheryl Strayed, Jeannette Walls, Lee Martin, Brady Udall, Brian Doyle, Dinty Moore, Meredith Maran, and others. Through reading and exercises, we'll look at how you can structure your stories using vivid description, "close-ups" and scene-work; passages of reflection, summary and backstory; efficient characterization; the artful use of narrative order (time) and pacing; as well as some key question, dilemma, conflict, or change. In-class and take-home exercises will allow you to practice what we learn. By the end of the workshop, you’ll have written some passages using these techniques and have ideas for how to move forward with your personal essays and memoirs. You'll share some of your work in class and receive oral feedback from your fellow students and the instructor.

NOTE: This class is for adults.

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button in the top right corner of this page. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee's decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

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.