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The When and Where of Persona: Contextualizing Your Essay in Time and Place Zoom Seminar, December 15th, 2021
Regular price
$75.00

The When and Where of Persona: Contextualizing Your Essay in Time and Place Zoom Seminar, December 15th, 2021


Unit price per

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Live Seminar Via Zoom at 11AM - 1PM CST

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

Taught by Jill Talbot, author of The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir and Loaded: Women and Addiction. Jill wrote “The Last Year,” a year-long column that appeared online in The Paris Review. Her work has been recognized four times in The Best American Essays. Her short story collection, A Distant Town, won The Florida Review’s 2021 Jeanne Leiby Chapbook Award and will be published in Spring 2022.


In Virginia Woolf’s “A Sketch of the Past,” she explains writing a memory out of “a desire to explain it,” but when looking back at certain childhood moments, she notes, “I am hardly aware of myself, only the sensation.” “Why is it so difficult,” she wonders, “to give any account of the person to whom things happen?”

In “On the Necessity of Turning Oneself Into A Character,” Phillip Lopate explains that essayists must create a “clear picture” of the person speaking. Lopate includes aspects of ourselves to consider, beginning with our quirks then moving to aspects such as ethnicity, gender, and class. As essayists, he explains, we must also act like a journalist, establishing the who, what, when, where, and why “as close to the top of every story as possible.”

The most common questions I ask in the margins of my students' drafts, usually next to the opening paragraph, but always on the first page: “How old is the persona?” “When is this—what year?” “When and Where is the persona?”

The When and Where of persona will be the focus of this Zoom seminar to address how we orient ourselves, and our readers, in place and time. During the seminar, we’ll look at sample essays that immediately establish the When and Where of the persona, and we’ll discuss why it matters and the myriad of ways we can achieve this element.

We’ll also do three writing exercises that will allow you to be more “aware of [yourself],” even if you may not remember all the details of the event. Woolf again: “People write what they call ‘lives’; that is, they collect a number of events, and leave the person to whom it happened unknown.”

As essayists, we need the create a self that is known, not just as a self, but within a particular timeframe and context of the world in which we live(d).

*Essays and excerpts will be emailed to enrolled students prior to the seminar.

*A recording of this seminar will be made available to enrolled writers who cannot attend live.

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:
  • Various approaches of crafting persona
  • The Importance of Time and Place
  • Strategies for revising essay openings
  • Potential openings for new essays
STUDENT TESTIMONIALS:
  • "Jill has a specific way of teaching a workshop that I find more conducive to learning new ways of thinking about the essay than any other workshop I've been in. I'm always blown away by how much my essaying improves at the end of a class from her."
  • "Jill has done more to expand my understanding of the essay than any I have encountered."
  • "Jill seems to always know just what to say to improve my work and it's always fantastic advice."
  • "Publishing class with Jill Talbot was amazing. Chock-a-block with useful, practical, real-world tips.  She also gave us a look behind the scenes at what editors look for.  Can't wait to use all her resources!  And, Jill was fun, funny and warm. Really, what more can you ask for?"
  • "I just took a class taught by Jill Talbot called the Writing the Lyric Essay. It was a wonderful generative class. I know much more now about lyric essays and feel my writing has improved!"
  • "Jill Talbot was super organized and insightful. Her Lyric Essay Course was a very productive experience for me. The class built in a sequenced fashion from the reading of models, to craft discussions, to our own writing experiments. Her feedback on my work was generous and astute. You'll work hard, but so will she. This was a first-rate online writing course."

ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:

This class will meet via Zoom on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021 from 11AM - 1PM CST

PAYMENT OPTIONS:
You can pay for the course in full or use Shop Pay or Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. These options are available at checkout.
  • Instructor: Jill Talbot

  • Wednesday, December 15, 2021 | 11AM - 1PM CST

  • Seminar is fully ONLINE and meets via Zoom

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

Instructor Jill Talbot is the author of The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir and Loaded: Women and Addiction, and the editor of Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction. Her writing has been recognized four times in Best American Essays and has appeared in journals such as AGNI, Brevity, Colorado Review, Diagram, Gulf Coast, Hotel Amerika, LitMag, Longreads, The Paris Review Daily, and The Rumpus. Her short story collection, A Distant Town, won The Florida Review’s 2021 Jeanne Leiby Chapbook Award and will be published in Spring 2022. She is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at University of North Texas.

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