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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)
  • 5 Weeks

Writing and Publishing the Risky Personal Essay

No Longer Enrolling

  • $330.00 Non-Member
  • $305.00 Member

Class Description

Heartbreak, death, trauma, abuse, loss, relationships: Subject matter that's tough to write about well in a personal essay, though the effort often yields amazing results. But how to write these essays about dark and deeply personal matter in a way that's not too sentimental, preachy, self-indulgent, insular, or raw? In this workshop, you'll study exemplary articles by essayists working today in a variety of magazines and journals—from Salon.com to the New York Times—to see how these authors do it. At least one essay by each student will be workshopped in class. Via short, weekly in-class and at-home writing exercises, you'll apply some key craft lessons about structure, beginnings and endings, characterization, scenes, and time travel to your own work. We'll also discuss the idea of psychic distance, tone, and voice. Finally, we'll look at where students might publish their essays once they're revised and ready for the marketplace. Note: This class is for daring writers.

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!