Personal essays are true first-person stories told by people willing to share their intimate thoughts and feelings about life. They are incredibly popular to read with many publishing opportunities for writers. Personal essays have a narrative arc, compelling characters, and mini-plot lines that push the reader toward a conclusion or a realization. There is a situation and a story. A personal essay isn’t simply an anecdote, but an in-depth exploration of a subject.

My friend Lisa Fugard and I teach a variety of online courses together each year. We’re excited to roll out our newest edition: Essay Writing Boot Camp! In this class we will explore the art of writing personal essays through six weeks of study. We’ll cover Essay Structure, Details, Scene Writing, Reflective Voice, Where to Sell Personal Essays, and Revision.

Participants will produce six new pieces and learn the tools to revise them for publication. Weekly lessons include instruction, annotated essay examples, links to further reading, and a prompt that will get you writing. More information and a full six-week syllabus available here.