The Art of Personal Essay Writing 6-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Tuesday, March 26th, 2024
Begins Tuesday, March 26th, 2024
The class will meet weekly on Tuesday nights via Zoom, 7:00PM - 9:30PM EST
Open to All writers!
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Taught by Blaise Allysen Kearsley, a Black-biracial writer and teacher based in Brooklyn. Her writing has appeared in Catapult, Longreads, the Boston Globe, Electric Literature's The Nervous Breakdown, Elle, Midnight Breakfast, The Weeklings, and in the anthologies Mortified: Real Words. Real People. Real Pathetic, Nonwhite and Woman, and Cringe: Teenage Diaries, Journals, Notes, Letters, Poems, And Abandoned Rock Operas. Blaise is a contributing editor at Vestal Review, the oldest flash fiction journal on the planet.
This workshop is about finding and forming your stories and exploring the shape, texture and craft of personal essay writing.
You know the stories you want to tell. But how will you tell them? How do you follow through skillfully on ideas? What makes well-crafted essays and why are yours worth reading?
In this workshop we'll explore the art and craft of the personal essay. We'll experiment with researched, collage, braided, micro, crab, and "standard" essay forms to expand and deepen your writing practice and find the shape and texture that best serves what you want to say.
In-class time will include prompt-based writing and feedback. There will be take-home assignments on certain weeks (but not all).
Finally, we'll examine essays from a decolonized and inclusive selection of writers, including Saachi Koul, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Deesha Philyaw, Maggie Nelson, Alexander Chee, David Sedaris, Emily Bernard, Roxane Gay, Abigail Thomas, and Jesus Colón.
- Find your stories, expand and deepen your writing practice.
- Step out of your comfort zone.
- Try out new craft tools.
- Identify your story goals and intentions.
- Generate a ton of material to work with.
- Week 1: Your Stories
- Week 2: Flash Essay
- Week 3: Researched Essay
- Week 4: Braided Essay
- Week 5: Collage Essay
- Week 6: Crab Essay
TAKE THIS CLASS IF:
- You're finding the constraints of your current writing practice too limiting.
- You want exposure to a range of new approaches to bring to your writing practice.
- You want an expanded sense of what is possible in your work in 2024 and beyond!
"I love the readings we do, and especially that they so often feature writers of color. The written feedback from you is always so helpful and in-depth. The prompts helped me to develop a lot of content. I always look forward to workshop nights -- it's a safe space to share."
"I felt so often in college, that I was writing against these very confident men who were forthcoming about the problems within my work and style. Working in your group has been restorative and has allowed me to trust myself without fear of being torn apart."
"Working with Blaise has made me a more confident writer. She's helped me to see my writing as a larger work, and creates a safe, inclusive, encouraging space to share and connect with other writers."
"Blaise is such a skilled reader and editor, and her notes are always valuable. She offers wonderful perspectives, and assembles groups of writers with keen perspectives of their own."
"I really loved the class. You treat every question with such a genuine desire to give the best possible answer and it made me happy every time. I admire that you focus on building people up. For someone like me, that means the world."
"During quarantine I had to show up for myself and others who counted on me, even when I felt like all I wanted to do was hide under my couch. Being part of this creative group of writers saved me."
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: Blaise Allysen Kearsley
- Class size limited to 10 writers
- Begins Tuesday, March 26th, 2024
- The class will meet weekly on Tuesday nights via Zoom, 7:00PM - 9:30PM EST
- Course is fully ONLINE.
Instructor Blaise Allysen Kearsley is a Black-biracial writer and teacher based in Brooklyn. She comes from a long line of teachers, builders, visual artists, and writers. Her writing has appeared in Longreads, the Boston Globe, Electric Literature's The Nervous Breakdown, Elle, Midnight Breakfast, The Weeklings, and in the anthologies Mortified: Real Words. Real People. Real Pathetic. (Simon Spotlight Entertainment) and Cringe: Teenage Diaries, Journals, Notes, Letters, Poems, And Abandoned Rock Operas (Crown Archetype). She has essays forthcoming in Catapult and the anthology Nonwhite and Woman in February 2022. She is the creator/producer/host of the How I Learned storytelling series and has performed at The Moth, Literary Death Match, Risk, and The Liar Show. Blaise is a contributing editor at Vestal Review, the oldest flash fiction journal on the planet. Learn more about Blaise here.