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8-Week Online Personal Essay, starts November 2nd, 2020
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8-Week Online Personal Essay, starts November 2nd, 2020

Unit price per

Begins Monday, November 2nd, 2020


Taught by New York Times Columnist and Novelist Diana Spechler (read her recent cover story in The New York Times Sunday Review).

There is no form more timeless, or more timely, than the personal essay. But without guidance, writing narrative about your own life can be daunting. People often worry, Is it really ok to admit to things I'm not supposed to have done or felt? What if my boss reads it? What if my dad reads it? What if I hurt someone's feelings? What if my memory of events doesn't line up with someone else's memory? This class will explore those questions and others. You will get weekly writing prompts, a fun community of fellow essayists, and two chances to have your work critiqued by the group and the instructor. You will read great essays and discuss why they work (the instructor will provide links, so you won't need to buy books). Most importantly, you will do plenty of essay-writing. By the end of the course, you will have at least one polished essay. This class is for all writers, whether you've hardly written a word or have been writing for years. All you need is an Internet connection. No prior nonfiction study or workshop experience is required.

NOTE: The instructor will provide links to assigned reading material, so you won't need to buy books for this course.


This class is entirely asynchronous with weekly deadlines and there is plenty of interaction with Diana and your peers within Wet Ink, our dedicated online classroom. Craft materials, lectures, reading assignments, and writing prompts are all available through the online classroom. Students also post work and provide and receive feedback within the online classroom environment. You can get the work done as you see fit week-to-week, so it is perfect for any schedule. There are discussion questions each week inspired by the assigned readings and topics in the lecture notes. Students are encouraged to take these wherever is most compelling and/or useful for them. Each writer will have the opportunity to submit twice for workshop, receiving detailed feedback from their peers as well as Diana; follow-up questions and conversations often occur. Diana engages with these discussions throughout the week.

  • Instructor: Diana Spechler

  • Class size limited to 10 writers

  • Class starts November 2nd, 2020

  • Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.

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

Instructor Diana Spechler is the author of the novels Who by Fire and Skinny and of the New York Times Opinion series Going Off. Her work has appeared in GQ, the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Harper's, Esquire, Playboy, National Geographic Traveler, BBC Travel, Washington Post, Ploughshares, and many other publications. She is the recipient of a number of awards and fellowships, including a Hawthornden Castle Residency, a Yaddo Residency, the Steinbeck Fellowship, and the Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize from A Room of Her Own Foundation. She is also a seven-time Moth Story Slam winner who has been featured on NPR.

Student Testimonials

"I completed my first Writing Workshops Dallas with Diana Spechler and it was actually my first writing class ever! It changed my view on writing/my writing. Diana was such a positive force for authentically and constructively encouraging the writer in me. I am forever grateful."

“I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed my online class through WWD with Diana Spechler. I was encouraged, challenged and had a blast; and my writing is finally getting the workshopping it needs. Thank you Blake and Diana for creating such an incredible experience! Will definitely be taking more classes ASAP!”

“Diana’s personal essay workshop was a very good experience. It provided some good direction and structure for my writing, and that is exactly what I needed. I may want to repeat the course in the not too distant future in hopes of taking the next step with my personal essay writing.”

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