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Advanced Personal Essay Writing

Date: 2/7/18 – 3/21/18

Location: The Loft at Open Book

Day of the Week: Wednesday

Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Ages: Adult

Class Level: Intermediate

Genre: Creative Nonfiction

• Regular: $210.00
• Member: $189.00
• Low-Income: $147.00

It's a common misconception that writing your own life is easy. In fact, the work of shaping one's life experience into art requires a great deal of skill, craft, and—perhaps most importantly—work. The place we start when we begin writing a personal essay is rarely the place we wind up. This class, geared toward students with some writing experience and understanding of basic craft elements of the personal essay, will take the long view and focus on strategies for revision. We'll spend class time reading and discussing one another's work, trying out generative prompts, and reading and discussing an array of examples of the form.

Our reading list will include classic as well as contemporary writers like James Baldwin, David Mura, Melissa Febos, and Teju Cole. Many of the best personal essays traffic in issues of identity as it relates to race, gender and sexuality; while our focus will always be on craft, students should be willing to wade into subject matter that might not be comfortable—discomfort, after all, is where we learn. There will be a $10 copy fee. No class 3/14.