Join me for this live, two-hour class and discover Five Things I’ve Learned about the opportunities that personal writing offers writers and readers – and about the strategies and approaches you can use right away to tell the stories you need to tell about your own life.

I came to writing essays late, after publishing two novels, two books of stories, and eight collections of poetry. My guiding principle as a writer is simple, drawn from the great Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini:  “You have to live spherically—in many directions Never lose your childish enthusiasm, and things will come your way.” Whether you’re exploring a move from fiction or poetry to this form, as I did, or have been working on your own essays, this class should give you some inspiration and fresh ideas.

I’d like to invite you to my two-hour class, Five Things I’ve Learned about Shaping the Personal Essay because I’ve fallen enthusiastically in love with all the ways essays can grow from the tiniest seed.

My first essay collection, Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life, was published by Penguin, and I’m currently finishing a second, Anywhere But Me. I want to share some of my own journey with you and give you some practical tips that can help you shape and develop your life experiences into compelling works that move and engage a reader.

We’ll look at various writers’ opening moves in order to explore ways to get your reader’s attention right away—and several possibilities after that, beyond “what happened next.” An engrossing narrative is always important, but there are lots of ways to tell your story that can help you organize your material so that it comes alive for a reader. 

You don’t need to have some dramatic story to tell—just a piece of the human condition (which, come to think of it, is pretty dramatic; no one gets out of this alive). If you’re short on ideas, we’ll do a fun, brief writing exercise that will give you a lot of seeds for new work. I’ll also talk a bit about the opportunities and challenges of this kind of personal writing, and try to answer a few of your questions.

When we’re done, I hope that you’ll be ready to jump off to ideas for your own work, armed with new strategies and approaches to pattern your own essays.

Please join me. I’d love to see you there.

– Kim Addonizio