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How to Conceive & Structure Personal Essays Zoom Seminar, Saturday, June 1st, 2024
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How to Conceive & Structure Personal Essays Zoom Seminar, Saturday, June 1st, 2024

Unit price per

Saturday, June 1st, 2024

Live Seminar Via Zoom 11AM – 2PM CST

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

Led by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, a National Magazine Award finalist. His debut story collection Barefoot Dogs won the Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction, and was named a Best Book by Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Chronicle, Texas Observer and PRI's The World. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Texas Monthly, The Millions, and elsewhere.

Read an interview with Antonio on How to Conceive & Structure Personal Essays.

This class will teach you how to turn your own experiences, anecdotes, fears and ideas into compelling essays.

One of the most popular and innovative forms of writing today is the personal essay. In this class, students will learn to pair traditional journalistic methods and structures with the narrative energy of short fiction and memoir in order to craft compelling essays. The class will focus on:

  • Basic elements and structures
  • Figuring out the frame of the essay
  • What to summarize and what to put into short scenes
  • How structure changes depending on length (800 words versus, say, 2000)
  • Expectations of fact-checkers and how to fact check your own memory


  • You're writing or interested in writing personal essays.
  • You're having trouble turning your life experiences into a coherent essay.
  • You're curious about what goes in to craft personal essays.


"The How to Conceive & Structure Personal Essays seminar with Antonio Ruiz Comacho exceeded my expectations. Admittedly, I wasn't sure what to expect because it was my first class with you all, but Antonio's class was so interesting and informative! He covered everything and more about personal essays in his presentation and focused on details and provided great examples in the assigned readings. So far, I'm very impressed with Writing Workshops!" -former student

"Antonio is a great instructor. I signed up for How to Conceive and Structure Personal Essays and it did not disappoint. He very clearly made the point about the details in the narrative expressing the experience. His example readings were great. For a short course, it was excellent." -former student

"How to Conceive & Structure Personal Essays with Antonio Ruiz-Camacho exceeded my expectations. I am currently working on putting together a collection of personal essays that I hope to be published either in book form, or as individual submissions to various print magazines and e-zines. Most valuable #1: I enjoyed the personal essays that were assigned for aloud reading (and I really enjoy reading "out loud" as we used to call it when I was a child). Those assigned essays served as appropriate examples of the gist of Camacho's presentation. Most valuable #2: I particularly found Camacho's explanation of what makes a personal essay unique exactly the motivation I need to want to write personal essays in the first place. Mr. Camacho spoke of intimacy, confession, vulnerability. I think I did say that I was toying with the idea of naming my collection Very Personal, Personal Essays. Mr. Camacho covered what I need to know as a novice when it comes to conception and structure of the personal essay, and I can always conduct independent research as it relates to crafting significant personal essays of my own, moving forward." -former student

"Everything about this seminar with Antonio was great. He was very organized and was very knowledgeable. Highly recommend." -former student

"Antonio's expert advice on framing and structuring personal essays will make my writing more engaging and impactful, unlocking a new level of creativity for me." -former student

"Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's seminar on personal essays was transformative. His insights into combining journalistic methods with narrative storytelling will help me turn my life experiences into compelling essays. The detailed guidance on structure and fact-checking was invaluable, making this class an essential resource for any aspiring essayist." -former student


This class will meet via Zoom on Saturday, June 1st, 2024 from 11AM - 2PM CST


You can pay for the course in full or use Shop Pay or Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.
  • Antonio Ruiz-Camacho | Live via Zoom

  • June 1st, 2024 | 11AM – 2PM CST

  • Seminar is fully ONLINE and meets via Zoom

Instructor Antonio Ruiz-Camacho was born and raised in Toluca, Mexico. He moved to the U.S. at the age of 31 and began to write in English at 35. A former Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University and a Dobie Paisano fellow in fiction by the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters, he earned his MFA from The New Writers Project at UT Austin. He is a National Magazine Award finalist and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Texas Monthly and elsewhere. He is the author of the story collection Barefoot Dogs (Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction 2015) and the forthcoming novel The Healing Room.