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




June Courses

Creative Nonfiction: The Art of Telling True Stories

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June 19 | 6 Weeks | $445$380Save 15%!

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

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Finding Inspiration in Dreams

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June 26 | 6 Weeks | $445$380Save 15%!

Our dreams are fertile fields of inspiration, meaning, and creativity. Learn how to use your dreams as doorways to future writing.

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Observing What’s Vivid in Prose and Poetry

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June 26 | 4 Weeks | $345$295Save 15%!

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

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Story Lab: The Story-Subplot Connection

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June 26 | 6 Weeks | $445

Subplots are key to maintaining narrative pace and tension in a story. Drive your story forward with this deep dive into the elements of good storytelling.

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Stringing the Beads: Craft Your Personal Essay

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June 26 | 4 Weeks | $345$295Save 15%!

Harness the freedom of the personal essay in this 4 week course, where we'll shape our ideas, thoughts, and obsessions into compelling nonfiction pieces. 

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These Fragments: From Journal Pages to Personal Essays

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June 26 | 6 weeks | $445$380Save 15%! | NEW!

Learn to harvest the raw creativity of journaling into inspired, publication-worthy personal essays.

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July Courses

Show and Tell: How to Write Captivating Memoir and Nonfiction

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July 10 | Single-Day Webinar | $115

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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Writing Autobiographical Fiction

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July 17 | 8 Weeks | $545

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

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Writing Our Grief: How to Channel Loss into Creative Expression

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July 17 | 8 Weeks | $495

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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Writing the Memoir-in-Essays

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July 22 | 2 Single-Day Webinars | $195$170Early Bird: Save 15%!

Learn how to tell your story through the memoir-in-essays, a form that allows writers to interweave the facts of their lives in interesting and evocative ways.

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The Lyric Essay: Invitation to Play

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July 24 | 10 Weeks | $595$510Early Bird: Save 15%!

Create dynamic, genre-bending works of musical prose in this playful and exploratory lyric essay workshop. 

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Beginner’s Mind: A Mindful Approach to Personal Essays

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July 31 | 8 Weeks | $545$465Early Bird: Save 15%!

Write true and meaningful personal essays with the tools of mindfulness. We'll discover new insights in our work as we center ourselves, confront our inner critics, and write mindfully. 

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Writing the (Modern) Love Essay

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July 31 | 5 Weeks | $395$340Early Bird: Save 15%!

How do you distill the complexity of (modern) love into language? Learn how in this workshop, where you'll transform your lived experience of romance into an essay. 

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August Courses

Comics for People Who Can’t Draw!

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August 7 | 6 Weeks | $445$380Early Bird: Save 15%! | NEW!

Can't draw? No problem! In this workshop, learn how to tell complete stories in publication-ready comics, no matter your artistic background. 

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Writing Chronic Illness

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August 7 | 6 Weeks | $445$380Early Bird: Save 15%! | NEW!

Creative nonfiction offers a container for the sharing and exploration of illness. Tell the story of your body in this healing-oriented workshop.

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

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August 14 | 10 Weeks | $645$550Early Bird: Save 15%!

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

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Where the Diary Ends and the Essay Begins

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August 21 | 6 Weeks | $445$380Early Bird: Save 15%!

Start a diary practice and turn it into a mode of writing personal essays in this generative journaling workshop. 

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Write into Mystery: Writing Flash Memoir on Wonder and the Unexplained

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August 28 | 4 Weeks | $345$295Early Bird: Save 15%!

We often encounter wonder, mystery, and the unexplained in our everyday lives. Turn those experiences into flash essays in this community-centered course.

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September Courses

A Writerly Life: Develop a Writing Routine that Works for You

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September 4 | 5 Weeks | $395$340Early Bird: Save 15%!

What does a writer's life look like? Build a productive writing habit in this course for writers of all backgrounds.

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Creative Nonfiction and the Personal Essay

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September 4 | 10 Weeks | $645$550Early Bird: Save 15%!

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

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Tiny and True: Creating Flash Essays with Mindfulness

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September 11 | 6 Weeks | $445$380Early Bird: Save 15%!

How do you tell the full truth in under 1,000 words? Learn the art of flash essays and write nuggets of wisdom in this tiny essay class.

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Writing with Consistency and Courage

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September 14 | Single-Day Webinar | $115$100Early Bird: Save 15%!

What makes a successful writer? It's not talent, craft, or even the right connections—it's consistency and courage.

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October Courses

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

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October 2 | 4 Weeks | $345$295Early Bird: Save 15%!

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

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The Lyric Essay

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October 9 | 10 Weeks | $645$550Early Bird: Save 15%!

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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Food Writing: Meals And Manuscripts

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October 16 | 6 Weeks | $445$380Early Bird: Save 15%!

Do you love cookbooks, cooking, or reading anything about food? This food writing course is for you. With award winning writer Jennifer Billock.

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Unscheduled Courses

These online writing classes don’t currently have a next session on our calendar, but will soon. If you see a course you’re interested in, use the “I’m Interested” button to let us know, and we’ll follow up with you when the course is on our calendar next.

Want to reach us or our instructors with questions about our online writing courses? Contact us at writers@writers.com, or visit the contact form.

(Live Workshop) Dream Writing

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Single-Day Webinar | $115

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

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(Live Workshop) Writing Beginnings and Endings

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Single-Day Webinar | $115

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

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*Private Class | Embodied Writing: Improve Your Writing with Full-Body Creativity

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January 1 | 6 to 10 Weeks | $545 | NEW!

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

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*Private Class | Embodied Writing: Somatic Practices to Improve Your Work

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January 1 | 6 to 10 Weeks | $545

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

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*Private Class | Finding Confidence in the Braided Essay: A Craft and Empowerment Workshop for Literary Nonfiction

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January 1 | 6 to 10 weeks | $715

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.

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*Private Class | Food Writing: Meals And Manuscripts

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January 1 | 6 to 10 Weeks | $545

Do you love cookbooks, cooking, or reading anything about food? This food writing course is for you. With award winning writer Jennifer Billock.

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*Private Class | From Pitch to Publication: Writing Narrative Journalism

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January 1 | 8 to 12 Weeks | $645

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.

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*Private Class | Telling the Stories Your Body Holds: Writing and Shaping Strong Personal Essays

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January 1 | 8 to 12 weeks | $645

Where do essays come from? In this course, they come from the body. Learn how to start—and finish—powerful essays that begin inside the self.

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*Private Class | The Literary Essay

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January 1 | 8 to 12 Weeks | $645

Explore the literary essay - from the conventional to the experimental, the journalistic to essays in verse - while writing and workshopping your own.

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*Private Class | Using Bullet Journaling to Achieve Writing Goals

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January 1 | 3 to 7 weeks | $345

Looking to keep your writing goals organized? Make it happen in our bullet journaling course. Learn the art of the BuJo with Rudri Patel!

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*Private Class | Write Your World: Express Your Creativity through Article Writing, Blogging, and Essays

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January 1 | 6 to 10 Weeks | $545

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

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*Private Class | Writing Our Grief: How to Channel Loss into Creative Expression

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January 1 | 8 to 12 Weeks | $645

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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*Private Class | Writing with Tarot

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January 1 | 8-12 Weeks | $645

Jump-start your creative juices, and explore a world of divination, symbolism, and imagery right at your fingertips: learn short story and novel writing through Tarot.

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Ambient Grief: Writing the Alteration

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6 Weeks | $445 | NEW!

How do we write about moments of painful transition, or grief that the world doesn't recognize as grief? Turn ambient pain into powerful words in this transformational personal essay workshop. 

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Boost Your Imagination and Reap the Literary Rewards

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4 Weeks | $345

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!

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Branches of Creative Nonfiction

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8 Weeks | $545

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.

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

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4 Weeks | $345

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.

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Claiming Our Stories: Autobiography, Memoir & Autobiographical Fiction

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10 Weeks | $645

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

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Craft Your Story: Short Fiction and Memoir Live Workshops

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8 Weeks | $545

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

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Creating Narrative in Comics

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8 Weeks | $545 | NEW!

Art and storytelling have a rich relationship to one another. Explore that relationship in this class on writing narrative comics. Open to all artistic skill levels!

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Creating the Visual Journal

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8 Weeks | $545

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

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Embodied Writing: Improve Your Writing with Full-Body Creativity

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6 Weeks | $445

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

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Embodied Writing: Somatic Practices to Improve Your Work

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6 Weeks | $445

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

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Even Smaller: Adventures in Short-form Writing

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4 Weeks | $345

Course full. Contact us to join waitlist.

Less is more in this bite-sized writing class, where you'll learn how to tell complete stories under the tightest word counts.

 

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Find Your Brave: Publishing As An Act Of Courage

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4 Weeks | $345

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

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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.

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Food Writing: Food-Focused Memoir

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8 Weeks | $545

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.

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From Memory: Writing Fiction or Memoir from Lived Experience

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4 Weeks | $345 | NEW!

In this class, you'll use a nearly infinite resource—your own memory—to craft compelling fiction or nonfiction stories.

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From Pitch to Publication: Writing Narrative Journalism

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8 Weeks | $545

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.

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Fundamentals of Travel Writing

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8 Weeks | $545

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

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Get Clear on Your Story and Voice

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Single-Day Webinar | $115

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

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Get It Done: Create the Scaffolding to Start (and Finish) a Writing Project

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2 Single-Day Webinars | $195 | NEW!

Get your butt in the chair, your mind roaming freely, and your creative juices flowing in this motivational, all-genres writing class.

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Get Your Book Noticed: Writing Loglines That Sell

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1-Day Webinar | $115

Your logline helps you query agents, market your book, and figure out the story itself. Hone your logline and set your book up for success in this Zoom workshop.

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How to Pitch

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2 Single-Day Webinars | $195

Learn the ins and outs of pitching your work to print and online publications from Rachel Krantz, a full-time writer and formerly the Senior Feature Editor at Bustle.

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How To Start A Blog

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5 Weeks | $395

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

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How To Start A Blog, Grow An Audience & Make Money

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Single-Day Webinar | $115

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

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How To Turn Your Blog Into A Career

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8 Weeks | $545

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

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

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8 Weeks | $545

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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In Bloom: Nature Writing Workshop

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6 Weeks | $445

Only 3 seats left!

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

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In Brief: Explorations in Short Story Forms

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8 Weeks | $545 | NEW!

Explore the intricate world of short prose forms. Experiment with story forms from one-syllable micros to full-length short stories, and complete six new story drafts.

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In Your Own Words: Transforming Life Into Memoir and Fiction

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8 Weeks | $545

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.

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It Starts with Play: Get (Back) into Writing

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6 Weeks | $445$380Save 15%!

Harness the joy of creativity in this inspiration-focused class, where we'll uncover new ideas for writing projects and draft loads of new material. 

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Let It Rip: The Art of Writing Fiery Prose

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6 Weeks | $445

You'll write prose that gets folks so hot and bothered they won't be able to put it down, even if it isn't about sex.

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

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8 Weeks | $545

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

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Make Your Prose Sing

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Single-Day Webinar | $115

Enrich your prose with techniques from poetry. Bring paper and pens; leave with a better ear and lots of ideas about how to make your prose sing.

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

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4 Weeks | $345

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.

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Oral Storytelling Techniques for Writing Flash Nonfiction

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6 Weeks | $445 | NEW!

In this class, you'll harness the power of oral storytelling to craft exceptional pieces of written nonfiction.

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Ordinary to Extraordinary: Turning Everyday Experiences into Poetry

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4 Weeks | $345

Only 1 seat left!

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

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

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4 Weeks | $345

"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.

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Scene Study: Strengthen Your Writing with Compelling Scenes

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5 Weeks | $395

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

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Secrets & Confessions: Writing Deeply Personal Nonfiction

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8 Weeks | $695 | NEW!

In this fully anonymous class, we will write and share the secrets we hold closest to our chests, and turn those secrets into compelling creative nonfiction. 

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Shape Your Stories: Write Five Styles of the Personal Essay

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6 Weeks | $445$380Save 15%! | NEW!

Craft powerful nonfiction essays! By exploring five exciting essay forms, you'll learn to bring the stories of your life alive on the page. 

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Six Flash Essays in Six Weeks

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6 Weeks | $445 | NEW!

Tell the stories of your life in 1,000 words or less in this generative flash essays workshop. 

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Style and Sense: Bring Your Writing to Life

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4 Weeks | $345

How do we transport our readers to vivid worlds? In this course, learn the skills that evoke the senses and bring your writing to life.

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Tales From The Memory Palace: 6 to 250 Word Memoirs

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4 Weeks | $345

Course full. Contact us to join waitlist.

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.

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Techwashed!: Writing with AI, Data, and Surveillance

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2 Saturday Workshops | $205

Raise a mirror against society's relationship to technology in this two part workshop series where we will learn how to write about tech.

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Telling the Stories Your Body Holds: Writing and Shaping Strong Personal Essays

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8 Weeks | $545$465Save 15%!

Where do essays come from? In this course, they come from the body. Learn how to start—and finish—powerful essays that begin inside the self.

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Telling Your Food Story

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4 Weeks | $345

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

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The Chronology of Mind: From Journal to Poem or Prose

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10 Weeks | $645

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

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The Heart Remembers: Writing About Loss

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How can we organize grief and loss into language? Honor your feelings and write moving essays in this heart-centered creative nonfiction class. 

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The Literary Essay

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8 Weeks | $545

Explore the literary essay - from the conventional to the experimental, the journalistic to essays in verse - while writing and workshopping your own.

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The Magic of Flash Nonfiction

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Tell your stories quickly and stylishly in this short form creative nonfiction workshop, where you'll come away honing the magic of flash nonfiction.

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

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5 Weeks | $395

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.

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The Surprising Sentence: Honing Your Prose Style

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2 Single-Day Webinars | $195 | NEW!

Great sentences stack up into great stories. Learn how to hone your style and voice at the most basic unit of writing, the sentence, in this workshop.

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Toying with the Truth: Writing the Personal Essay

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8 Weeks | $545$465Save 15%! | NEW!

Experiment with creative nonfiction forms and find the best way to tell your personal stories. Write a short piece each week, and choose one draft to polish. 

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Word Flashes & Eye Snapshots: Sketching Your Life Awake

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8 Weeks | $545

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

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Write from the Untamed Mind: Find Your Voice

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6 Weeks | $445

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.

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Writing About Family

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8 Weeks | $545

Family is complicated, and so is writing about it. Navigate the complexities of writing about real relationships in this generative essay class.

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Writing Circle Workshop: Writing for Happiness, Healing, and Health (Monday/Friday)

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6 Weeks | $445

Course full. Contact us to join waitlist.

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.

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Writing Circle Workshop: Writing for Happiness, Healing, and Health (Tuesday/Saturday)

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6 Weeks | $445

Course full. Contact us to join waitlist.

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.

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Writing Place in Creative Nonfiction

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5 Weeks | $395

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.

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Writing the Body: A Nonfiction Craft Seminar

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2 Single-Day Webinars | $195 | NEW!

The weird and wild body is a rich site of exploration in creative nonfiction. Explore the questions, stories, and lessons your body holds in this seminar with Margo Steines.

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