Writing the Personal Essay - A

10-week Online Class

Writing the Personal Essay - A

January 9 - March 19 

$425 if registered by 12/19/2016
$475 if registered after 12/19/2016

Your course registration includes a free 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction or a free ebook; click here for more details.

Refund and cancellation policies

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Instructor: Meghan O'Gieblyn

In this class we’ll take a close look at the writing and research skills needed to write a memoir or personal essay, and refine them over the course of 10 weeks. We’ll discuss how to best use essential literary elements such as detail, dialogue, structure, and description, as well as how to collect information through interviews, research, and other methods. Participants will complete three essays, and will also be given optional shorter exercises that can later be developed into longer works. There will be substantial time spent on revision, that magical process that takes a pleasant anecdote and turns it into a breathtaking essay. Participants will receive personal feedback on their work from the instructor and feedback from other class members via Group Review sessions.

Week 1: The Ground Rules of Memoir (and when to break them)
Week 2: Detail and Description
Week 3: From Caricature to Human Being / Group Review
Week 4: Revision #1
Week 5: Researching Your Memories 
Week 6: Point of View
Week 7: Compression and Expansion 
Week 8: Incorporating Information 
Week 9: Experimenting with Structure / Group Review 
Week 10: Revision #2 

See the complete syllabus here »

* US residents will receive a complimentary 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction with their online class registration (or a 4-issue extension to their existing subscription). Students outside the US can receive a free copy of the ebook Creating Nonfiction, or can choose to receive a 4-issue print subscription for the cost of shipping fees. We regret that we are not able to supply complimentary digital subscriptions for international students at this time.

If you are an international student who would like a print subscription instead of an ebook, please contact Matt Spindler at spindler@creativenonfiction.org after you register.

Refund and cancellation policies

By 5pm EST on the Monday before classes begin (one week prior to start date):

  • Students may request a refund (less a $50 application fee) or request a transfer to another course in the same term (no fee).

By 5pm EST on the Friday at the end of the first week of classes:

  • Students may transfer their enrollment credit to a future course (less a $95 processing fee for 10-week courses or a $75 processing fee for 5-week courses). Transfer credits must be applied within two years from your cancellation date.
  • Students may switch to another class in the same term (subject to availability) for a $25 fee.

No refunds or transfers will be offered after this deadline.