Greater Than the Sum of the Parts: Transforming Personal Essays into a Book

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm Eastern

Level Intermediate

The thought of shaping a book-length collection of personal essays can feel daunting and perhaps intimidating.


Additional Information

Essayists considering the possibility of turning their work into a collection face many questions. What order? What structure? Often, the biggest challenge is identifying which essays fit in the book.

However, just as writing an essay is often a process of discovery—unearthing something forgotten or finding something new—grouping essays into a book can also be a journey of discovery. As we shape a collection into a book, we learn something new about ourselves, those around us, or the world we inhabit.

In this webinar, you will learn practical strategies that will help you transform your essays into a book. Using these ideas and tools, you will learn something more about your writing and the larger story of your work.

In this webinar, you will:

  • RECOGNIZE how the same mindset of discovery we bring to writing essays will also serve us as we organize a book of essays
  • DISCOVER practical ways to identify the theme and connective tissue in your possible book of essays (or anthology or collection of short stories)
  • LEARN hands-on techniques for organizing your essays and ultimately feel empowered to gather your essays into a book

Not required for attending, but we suggest having a list of your essay titles at hand during the webinar.

There will be time for a Q & A at the end of the presentation.

This webinar will best serve intermediate to advanced writers:

  • who are actively working to shape a book of essays OR
  • who wonder if a book of essays might be in their future

However, writers looking to organize a collection of other works–such as short stories or an anthology—will certainly glean useful information. Even beginning writers will learn strategies they can carry with them into their writing lives.

All registrants receive a recording.

Course Presenter

Course Registration


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Please Note

It is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].

Hear from our Students

Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.

Read Success Stories


I enjoyed reading other peoples work and getting feedback about my own work– the handouts/video links and class lessons were also very informative and relevantly paced to the give structural guidelines.

Catherine O’Neill