4-Week Nonfiction Zoom Seminar: The Personal Reported Essay, Starts Monday, October 30th, 2023
Begins Monday, October 30th, 2023
Class will meet on Monday nights via Zoom, 2:30-4:00PM PST /5:30-7:00PM EST
Open to All writers!
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Katie Reilly, a freelance journalist and attorney based in the Bay Area in California. Katie's writing generally focuses on women's health, mental health and parenting. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Elle Magazine, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, USA Today and HuffPost, among other publications.
A personal experience can pull the reader into an essay and add a human experience to the reported facts on the page. But the act of weaving your personal story into a reported essay is a difficult one and can leave a writer wondering how to achieve the correct balance between the two.
Over this four-week course, we will work together to write a draft of your personal reported essay. Throughout the course, we will examine personal reported articles by other authors—including Virginia Eubanks, Roxane Gay, Erika Hayasaki, John Hendrickson, and others—to explore different approaches. We will brainstorm ideas for topics for your essay as a group, and I will also provide personalized feedback.
We will also explore how to get your story published, focusing on how to write and pitch to various publications. We will also have editors come talk to the class about the types of personal, reported essays that they are currently looking for.
Students can expect assigned weekly readings from a range of authors, weekly discussions and a supportive group to discuss issues that are coming up for you in the writing process. I will provide individualized feedback on potential ideas, a draft essay and pitch for your personal reported essay from this course.
- Learn how to analyze personal reported essays to discover the style and balance you’d like to bring into your own writing.
- Constructive feedback from me and your classmates on your essay ideas, one draft, and a pitch for the draft.
- Discover how to bring your voice into reported essays
- Week 1: Introductions, syllabus, discuss goals and reservations.
- Week 2: Review of Personal Essay and Reported Essay.
- Week 3: How to Write a Pitch and Where to Pitch.
- Week 4: How to Achieve the Right Balance in Your Essay and any remaining questions
“Katie C. Reilly's writing distills the beauty, fragility, difficulty and wonder of what it means to be alive at this moment in history into clear-eyed, evocative and poignant essays. She tells personal stories that simultaneously feel both intimate and universal and thereby offer the rare gift of allowing the reader to learn about themselves while learning about her.”
-Noah Michelson Editorial Director at HuffPost
“Katie deftly wove together her personal family history with ALS with that of another woman experiencing a similar diagnosis. She seamlessly alternated between her own story and the other woman’s, while incorporating statistics and important context for readers, resulting in a well-crafted, cohesive, and satisfying read. I admire Katie’s ability to mine such a deeply personal story in her professional writing. Readers will surely benefit from and relate to her important work.”
-Kayla Adler Deputy Editor at Elle Magazine
“Katie Reilly has that elusive ability to write about the particulars of her own life in ways that feel universal. Her generosity and openness, combined with journalistic skill, is something all editors wish for in a writer. The idea of Katie passing this rare skill down makes me very happy!”
Meaghan O’Connell Features editor at Romper
“Katie Reilly has a generous approach to editing, always searching for ways to strengthen the writer’s voice and the reader’s experience. She has a keen eye for finding the sweet spot where personal essay and research intersect—a skill that makes a writer’s work stand out. As an editor, Katie offers valuable feedback rich with specificity and direction. She is not one to waste words or time and approaches a story with intention, pushing other writers to get to the heartbeat of their story.”
-Jessica Ciencin Henriquez writer and author of the forthcoming memoir IF YOU LOVED ME YOU WOULD KNOW
“Katie asks thoughtful probative questions and provides honest feedback that helps me to effectively focus my writing. She recommends additional nonfiction readings that inspire deeper connections in my own work. Most importantly, as an effective listener she creates a safe writing community that encourages sharing, risk taking and is fun!”
-Tara Van de Mark Writer & editor
"Katie Reilly was a wonderful teacher. She was so responsive to emails and student questions and her feedback on essays was masterful and so specific. I could tell that she really cared about each writer's journey and was committed to helping each student writer be better. She really took time to go above and beyond!"
- Former Student
"Katie's class exceeded my expectations. I found all of the "nuts and bolts" information about submitting pitches to be incredibly valuable. I also found the 3 guest speakers who are editors at significant publications to also be a great addition to the class."
- Former Student
"Katie is a very organized, compassionate, wonderful teacher." -Former Student
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
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!
- Instructor: Katie Reilly
- Starts Monday, October 30th, 2023
- Class will meet on Monday nights via Zoom, 2:30-4:00PM PST /5:30-7:00PM EST
Instructor Katie Reilly is a freelance journalist and attorney based in the Bay Area in California. Katie's writing generally focuses on women's health, mental health and parenting. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Elle Magazine, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, USA Today and HuffPost, among other publications. Learn more at Katie's website.