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Idea to First Draft: A Personal Essay 4-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Thursday, September 26th, 2024
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Idea to First Draft: A Personal Essay 4-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Thursday, September 26th, 2024

Unit price per

Begins Thursday, September 26th, 2024

The class will meet weekly via Zoom on Thursdays, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Central

Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

Led by Samantha Ladwig, a writer, book reviewer for BUST magazine, and co-owner of Imprint Bookstore in Port Townsend, Washington. Her work has been published by New York magazine's The Cut and Vulture, Literary Hub, Real Simple, Bustle, CrimeReads, and others.

Read an Interview with Samantha about Going from Idea to First Draft. 

In this four-week generative workshop, participants will learn how to shape their experiences into essays that connect with readers, ultimately creating a solid first draft with knowledge of how to edit and submit their work.

Are you ready to transform your personal experiences into captivating essays? This workshop is designed to help you do just that. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, this generative class will guide you through the process of crafting a compelling personal essay.

Over four weeks, you’ll learn how to:

Shape Your Experiences: Discover how to turn moments, big or small, into powerful narratives that resonate with readers.

Develop Your Unique Voice: Harness your perspective to create stand-out essays.

Edit and Refine: Gain valuable insights into editing your work, ensuring your first draft is polished and ready for submission.

Pitch Your Essays: Learn effective techniques for pitching your essays to editors and getting your work published.

This workshop is open to writers of all levels. You’ll participate in feedback-based sessions, engaging discussions on editing and pitching, and exercises that help you find the story within your experiences.

By the end of the course, you’ll have a solid first draft and the tools you need to continue refining and submitting your work.

Join us for an inspiring and supportive journey from idea to first draft. Sign up now and start turning your personal moments into essays that connect and inspire!

Samantha will provide essays by Melissa Febos, Vivian Gornick, Roy Peter Clark, and William Zinsser, as well as pitch examples.


    • Learn how to mine your lives and intersect significant moments, big and small, with your own unique perspective. 
    • Learn editing techniques they can apply to current and future work.
    • The do’s and don’t of pitching editors.
    • Students will complete a first draft by the time the workshop wraps.


    Week 1: Reading discussion, finding your unique angle

    Week 2: Group feedback

    Week 3: Group feedback, pitching your work 

    Week 4: Group feedback, editing your work


    This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!


    Tuition is $299. You can pay for the course in full or use Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.
    • Samantha Ladwig | Live via Zoom

    • Class Starts Thursday, September 26th, 2023

    • The course is fully online and will meet weekly via Zoom on Thursdays from 1:00PM CST to 3:00PM Central.

    Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.