Simone Gorrindo

Writer & Editor

2-Week Online Nonfiction Bootcamp: What's at Stake in the Personal Essay


TUESDAYS, DEC. 5 & 12, 8:30-9:30PM EST


We all have important stories within us worth telling. We tend to know which ones those are, but we’re not always sure what makes them important, what in them will engage, move—and even change—our readers. These are the big, universal questions a story grapples with, the high stakes of every great personal essay.

In this two-week crash course for writers both new to the form and those looking to deepen their practice and take their personal essay writing to the next level, we’ll learn how to develop, sustain, and (not so tidily) resolve those stakes that make a personal essay compelling and meaningful. In lieu of a workshop, writing exercises will help guide students’ learning, pushing them to unearth the stakes and important questions in their own stories. Students will have access to lectures on craft, selected personal essays, and essay draft samples that give an intimate look at the process of revision. Over these two weeks, writers will learn to read and edit their own work with a close eye for what makes a personal essay matter to readers, and sell to editors.