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Online Course

Writing a Personal Essay

Wesleyan University via Coursera

Overview

This class is the chance to create your personal essay or extend into a full memoir -- from planning and structure to bold narrative brushstrokes to the layering of significant detail. You will develop the opportunity to find your voice and see it come alive, amplified and improved, on the page. This is the chance to tell your story in a way that invites readers in; your story, written to be read. The memoir and personal essay are two of the best-selling and most universally acclaimed genres in the world of modern creative writing. Welcome to your story.

Syllabus

How to Begin... and How to Continue
-In this week, you will learn how to discover what you wish to say, and how to organize your material and your story (and what is the difference between the two).

How Not to Fail
-In this week you lean how to overcome your internal critic and your fears.

The Truth of the Story Lies in the Details
-In this week, you will learn how to sift through the dusty attic of all your memories, to find the ones that are narrative gold.

Writing to be Read
-In this week, you will learn how to tell a good sentence from a bad one and how to absorb the lessons of great memoirists and essayist, without copying anyone.

Taught by

Amy Bloom

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