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Writing the Personal Essay // Curriculum A

Intermediate Level // 10-Week Online Class

Writing the Personal Essay // Curriculum A

September 09 - November 17

$435 if registered by 08/19/2019
$485 if registered after 08/19/2019

Your course registration includes a FREE 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction or True Story magazine (US residents only), or a free ebook; more details here.

Refund, discount, 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.

You 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. You will receive personal feedback on your work from the instructor and feedback from other class members. To create a better classroom experience for all, you are required to participate in the class discussion at least once a week to receive instructor feedback on individual work.

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 »

See schedule of all available classes »

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Refund, discount, 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 5 pm on Friday of the first week of classes.

* Learn how to receive a "refer-a-friend" discount.

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* US residents will receive a complimentary 1-year subscription to Creative Nonfiction magazine (4 issues) or True Story magazine (12-issues) with their online course registration (or a year extension to their existing subscription). Students outside the US can receive a free copy of the ebook Creating Nonfiction: Lessons from the Voice of the Genre, or can choose to receive a 4-issue print subscription to Creative Nonfiction for the cost of shipping fees. We regret that we are not able to offer complimentary digital subscriptions for international students at this time.

If you are an international student who would like a print subscription, please click here to add the cost of shipping to your order total.