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Writing the Personal Essay

This course will guide students through the basics of writing a compelling first-person creative nonfiction essay. We'll discuss how to anchor the personal essay in a particular experience, methods for structuring the essay, how to find your voice, and other craft techniques. Students will read samples of other personal essays to get a sense of established writers in the genre. In addition, we'll discuss tips on how to publish personal essays -- from newsletters to online magazines. 

Instructor: Raechel Anne Jolie is a writer and educator living in Ohio, on Erie and Mississauga land. They are the author of Rust Belt Femme. Their other writing has appeared in The Baffler, In These Times, Novara Media, among others. You can subscribe to radical love letters (their newsletter) here. Follow them on Twitter @reblgrrlraechel or Instagram @rebelgrrlraechel.


Details: Writing the Personal Essay takes place Wednesdays March 1, 8, 15, and 22 from 6:30-8:30pm remotely through Zoom.

Genre: Nonfiction

Level: Emerging

Format: Craft and generative workshop with writing outside of class.

Location: This class takes place remotely online via Zoom.

Size: Limited to 12 participants (including scholarships).

Suggested Sequence: Follow this class with a craft and/or generative nonfiction workshop, a feedback course, or a publishing course.

Scholarships: Two scholarship spots are available for this class for writers in Northeast Ohio. Apply by December 1.

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the first class meeting to receive a full refund. Email

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