Online Personal Essay Writing Courses

Enroll in a Writers.com online personal essay writing course, and explore this direct, flexible, and intimate form of literary expression.

You’ll get weekly instructor feedback on your work, ongoing collaboration with other personal essay writers, and a supportive course structure that will help you deepen and grow as an essayist.

Learn from published authors who have spent decades perfecting their craft, and are dedicated to supporting you and your work. Don’t miss out: find the online personal essay writing class for you today!

online personal essay writing courses

Upcoming Online Personal Essay Writing Courses

September Courses

Creative Nonfiction and the Personal Essay

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September 14|10 Weeks|$460

Gretchen Clark pick axes her way into the volcanic marriage of real life and fiction. Weekly writing with incisive feedback.

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Discover Your Writing Niche

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September 28|8 Weeks|$395

Fiction or nonfiction? Article, short story, or how-to book? Do you want to write for children, teens, adults? There is a type of writing that is best suited for you, and the discovery process can be an adventure.

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I’ve Drunk Your Poisoned Nectar: Writing with the Goddess

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September 28|8 Weeks|$395

Dig deep into the rich mythology of South Asian goddesses to find new inspiration for your work in this generative, open-genre writing class.

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Show and Tell: How to Write Captivating Nonfiction

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September 29|Single-Day Webinar|$89

Your true story of healing or transformation can captivate and empower your readers. Learn how to balance showing the vivid details of your own journey with telling the broader themes for readers to apply in their own lives.

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October Courses

Liars, Lovers, Criminals: Story as Character, Character as Story

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October 5|6 Weeks|$330

Characters don't just drive the story, they are the story. Learn how to craft character-centered fiction and give life to the people on your page.

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Deepening and Organizing Our Stories: Memoir/Creative Nonfiction and Autobiographical Fiction

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October 6|10 Weeks|$560

For writers of memoir, creative nonfiction and fiction, with some experience. Particularly helpful to writers in the midst of a longer work.

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Writing Our Grief: How to Channel Loss into Creative Expression

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October 12|8 Weeks|$395

Writing about grief is a powerful healing tool. Turn pain into power in this personal essay course, with instructor Rudri Patel.

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Telling Your Food Story

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October 12|4 Weeks|$235

Let's write at the kitchen table together, as we explore using food as a lens to tell our stories.

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Introduction to Writing the Lyric Essay

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October 29|Single-Day Webinar|$89

The lyric essay challenges us to tell authentic stories without concrete forms. Learn the ropes of the genre in this 3 hour workshop.

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November Courses

Ordinary to Extraordinary: Turning Everyday Experiences into Poetry

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November 2|4 Weeks|$250

No experience is too small or mundane to serve as a foundation for extraordinary poetry and short fiction.

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Scene Study: Strengthen Your Writing with Compelling Scenes

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November 2|5 Weeks|$275

Great stories are constructed with great scenes. Immerse your reader in your stories by learning the ropes of scene development.

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Getting Started Marketing Your Work

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November 16|4 Weeks|$235

Solve the mystery of marketing and get your work out there in front of readers in this 4-week online class taught by Instructor Gloria Kempton.

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Accessing Your Writer’s Voice

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November 30|3 Weeks|$195

Voice: What is it and how do you find yours? Instructor Gloria Kempton offers feedback on assignments in this 3-week online class.

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January Courses

Starting to Write

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January 11|8 Weeks|$395

For those who want to kick start their writing into high gear.

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Writing Autobiographical Fiction

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January 11|8 Weeks|$395

Learn to depart from "what really happened," and write compelling fiction from your own life experiences.

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Write Your World: Express Your Creativity through Article Writing, Blogging, and Essays

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January 18|6 Weeks|$330

Want to write your world, your way? Join us for this six week program on article writing, blogging, and essays.

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March Courses

The Lyric Essay

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March 29|10 Weeks|$460

Explore non-traditional and imaginative ways to tell your stories with this ten-week writing course online. Creative nonfiction teacher Gretchen Clark provides detailed feedback on weekly writing assignments that emphasize creative freedom.

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Unscheduled Online Personal Essay Writing Classes

Browse our full personal essay offerings below. Let us know which personal essay writing courses you're interested in, and we'll contact you with dates when we're ready to put them on our calendar.

(Live Workshop) Dream Writing

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How can writers harness the power of dreams? Let your slumber supercharge your creativity in this three hour dream writing workshop.

(Live Workshop) Get Clear on Your Story and Voice

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What is your story about? What is your voice? Whether you write poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, hone your writing in this 3 hour workshop.

(Live Workshop) Starting Off Right: How To Build A Blog, Grow An Audience & Make Money

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When planned right, a blog allows you to share your passion and make money in the process. Learn how to build a blog in this one-day webinar.

(Live Workshop) Writing Beginnings and Endings

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How do you write a story that's compelling to start and satisfying to finish? Sarah Aronson explains in this comprehensive one-day workshop.

*Private Class | Shadow Writing

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Your unconscious can drive your writing or block it. Gloria Kempton will guide you in coaxing your shadow out of hiding.

*Private Class | The Anti-Hero’s Journey for Storytellers

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Throughout her writing career, Gloria Kempton has met many anti-heroes. In this course, you’ll receive feedback on your story antagonists.

Block Buster: Turbocharge Your Creativity with Breakneck Writing

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Banish writer's block, unearth fresh ideas, and sharpen your storytelling ability with the practice of fast, timed writing.

Boost Your Imagination and Reap the Literary Rewards

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It happens to all of us: life gets in the way and our creativity falters. Get back on track with this four-week creativity boosting class!

Branches of Creative Nonfiction

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What are the different types of creative nonfiction? From the personal essay to the hermit crab, learn the ropes of CNF in this 8 week class.

But What Is Your Story Really About? Finding the Core of Your Short Memoir, Story, or Personal Essay

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Take a four-week writing adventure deep into the core of your story, to find the true theme of your personal essay, short story, or short memoir.

Claiming Our Stories: Autobiography, Memoir & Autobiographical Fiction

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Turn your experience into fiction, autobiography, or creative memoir. Bring forward stories with a powerful truth at their core. Instructor Anya Achtenberg.

Craft Your Story: Short Fiction and Memoir Live Workshops

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Get tailored advice and inspiration for your fiction or nonfiction stories, in this weekly live workshop with award-winning instructor Margo Perin.

Creating the Visual Journal

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Go beyond narrow definitions of “journaling" to include visual images and let writing give what is seen a new voice. Surprise yourself.

Creative Nonfiction Fundamentals: The Art of Telling True Stories

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How do you tell your stories beautifully and authentically? Learn the fundamentals of creative nonfiction with Nicole Hardy.

Embodied Writing: Improve Your Writing with Full-Body Creativity

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Have a grand time with specific physical exercises that honor your health, generate imaginative ideas, explore deeply and make your creative writing entertaining.

Embodied Writing: Somatic Practices to Improve Your Work

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Have a grand time with specific physical exercises that honor your health, generate imaginative ideas, explore deeply and make your creative writing entertaining.

Find Your Brave: Publishing As An Act Of Courage

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In this fun, transformative four-week program, get tips and techniques to bring out your courage to publish a story in print or online.

Finding Confidence in the Braided Essay: A Craft and Empowerment Workshop for Literary Nonfiction

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Weaving your story with facts and research can help you craft a stronger essay. Tell your story with confidence in this empowering essay writing course.

Food Writing: Food-Focused Memoir

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The food we eat and enjoy tells volumes about our lives and experiences. Write it all down in this food memoir course, with Jennifer Billock.

Food Writing: Meals And Manuscripts

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Do you collect cookbooks, love to cook, or religiously read anything about food? This course is for you. With award winning writer Jennifer Billock.

From Pitch to Publication: Writing Narrative Journalism

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Explore literary journalism as a powerful means to share fascinating characters, stories, and perspectives. Learn all you need to start pitching, landing, and writing reported essays and features.

Fundamentals of Travel Writing

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Take to the skies in this online travel writing course. We'll discuss the market, different types of travel writing, and pitching your piece!

How To Start A Blog

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Create your blog, brand it, create engaging content and successfully promote posts. Taught by journalist, writer and photographer Jessica Festa.

How To Turn Your Blog Into A Career

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From branding to search engine optimization and advertising, this course puts bloggers on the path to earning an income through their blog.

In Bloom: Nature Writing Workshop

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Want to write about nature like Robert Frost, Henry David Thoreau, or Annie Dillard? Join us for this six-week nature writing course.

In Your Own Words: Transforming Life Into Memoir and Fiction

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Learn how to draw inspiration and material from your life experiences or those of people you know, or want to know, to craft compelling, publishable memoirs, personal essays, autobiographical novels and short stories, and/or narrative poetry.

Let’s Get Personal: The Art and Craft of the Personal Essay

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Draw inspiration and material from your life experiences or “real life” people you know to craft compelling, publishable personal essays. With author Margo Perin.

No More Excuses! Four Weeks to Finish and Submit Your Personal Essay or Short Memoir

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Join us for this insightful four-week “get the writing done” program, give and receive thoughtful comments from your fellow writers and the instructor, and enjoy heaps of encouragement and writing wisdom along the way.

Observing What’s Vivid in Prose and Poetry

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Learn how to spotlight beauty through fresh, vivid, and surprising language, in this four week mindfulness writing course.

Overcome Writing Anxiety: Boost Your Storytelling Confidence in Four Short Weeks!

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"Who are you to want to write?" Someone great, that's who! Politely ask Mr. or Ms. Fear to step aside while you sign up for this fun, freeing and functional adventure.

Plumbing the Past: Turning Life Experience into Poetry, Flash and Creative Non-Fiction

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Dig deep into personal ritual while studying narrative poets, short fiction and non-fiction authors, and food writers.

Rapid Story Development: A Master Plan for Building Stories That Work

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In this 10 week story writing class, Jeff Lyons pairs the Enneagram with story development techniques to revolutionize your writing practice.

Tales From The Memory Palace: 6 to 250 Word Memoirs

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If you want to be an in demand storyteller in the digital age, you need to get in, get out and get going. In this "short" four-week memoir writing adventure, you'll learn to scope out, swoop down and snatch up important memories from your life then speed write them into miniature masterpieces.

The Chronology of Mind: From Journal to Poem or Prose

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Gather material through writing and experimenting with journaling, researching and taking notes to develop into poems or prose works.

The Soundtrack of Your Life: Writing About Music, Memories and Mix Tapes

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In a song inspired class, write several essays about the music that has moved you through life: the emotions, the relationships, the events, the outcomes.

Word Flashes & Eye Snapshots: Sketching Your Life Awake

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For any writer wanting to root writing in vision and vision in the body: for poetry, fiction, essay, memoir & pleasure.

Write from the Untamed Mind: Find Your Voice

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Join Susan in two writing circles each week: intimate spaces for writers to free-write together, saying yes to whatever shows up, followed by group read-arounds. These writing sessions are spontaneous, intimate, freeing, and transformative.

Writing Circle Workshop: Writing for Happiness, Healing, and Health

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Expressive writing can be a powerful elixir for what ails you. Learn and practice tools for writing expressively, including two virtual writing circles each week, turn raw writing into poetry or prose, and come away with a better understanding of how writing can lead toward wellness.

Writing Place in Creative Nonfiction

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In Creative Nonfiction, place is a character in itself. Deeply explore a narrative and a place of your choosing, and make weekly progress on your essay or memoir.

Articles on Personal Essay Writing

Why Take an Online Personal Essay Writing Course with Writers.com?

  • We welcome writers of all backgrounds and experience levels, and we are here for one reason: to support you on your writing journey.
  • Small groups keep our online personal essay writing classes lively and intimate.
  • Work through your weekly written lectures, course materials, and writing assignments at your own pace.
  • Share and discuss your work with classmates in a supportive class environment.
  • Your course instructor will offer you direct, personal feedback and suggestions on every assignment you submit.