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The Art of the Profile - Online

The profile writer can select a stranger or someone he/she knows well. The subject can be ordinary with a great story or someone extraordinary such as an accomplished artist, successful CEO, groundbreaking scientist or celebrity. The profile provides details of the person’s character, an overview of the person’s life story, and highlights of the person’s challenges faced, obstacles overcome and achievements. We’ll work through the process of writing a short biography sketch (1,000 to 1,500 words) from identifying the subject through the research, primary interview, secondary interviews with people who know the person well, observation or shadowing, and then writing a compelling, insightful profile.

Instructor: Christopher Johnston has published more than 3,000 articles in numerous publications, including American Theatre, Balanced Living, Christian Science Monitor, Cleveland Magazine, Crain’s Cleveland Business, History Magazine, The Plain Dealer, Scientific American, and His book, Shattering Silences: Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal Survivors, and Bring Assailants to Justice was published by Skyhorse Publishers in May 2018. He is currently writing a biography of a Green Beret who served with distinction in Afghanistan where he was gravely wounded and required several years to recover.

ONLINE CLASS INFO: Literature and community are powerful tonics in anxious times, providing comfort and inspiration. That’s why Lit Cleveland is staying open with online learning so you can continue to be active, be creative, and engage with other writers and readers in a meaningful way.  

This class will meet online Tuesdays from 6-8pm the using ZOOM video conferencing. On the first day of class, we will give you a tutorial on how to use it. Once you sign on using the instructions we will provide, you will be able to see and talk with your instructor Christopher Johnston and your fellow participants—just like you would in one of our meeting rooms. All you need is a good internet connection and a computer or smartphone with a webcam. Not sure if your system is compatible? Just click here. Have any questions about online classes? Email or call associate director Matt Weinkam at


Details: The Art of the Profile takes place Tuesdays 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, & 5/12 from 6-8p online. 

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