May 26th: Getting Personal – Crafting a Personal Essay *COURSE FULL*
Did your life change in a moment? Are you untangling your family’s quirky past? Have you found yourself caught up with a city that feels like a relationship in itself? Join author and Reader tutor Susanna Forrest for an intimate day-long workshop to develop a personal essay from notes, fragments or false starts.
Whether by Roxane Gay or Rebecca Solnit, the personal essay has become a cultural driver behind movements like #MeToo and a breakthrough form that transforms careers. From humour (think David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries) to tragedy (Ariel Levy’s devastating Thanksgiving in Mongolia), these mini memoirs punch above their weight.
We’ll use three inspiring examples of personal writing as prompts and scaffolding for your own work, with the aim of ending the day with a strong introduction and a constructive plan for your essay. We’ll combine group discussions with writing and one-on-one feedback from Susanna. Susanna will also share tips for editing and submitting your finished work for publication.
With places strictly limited to ten, the workshop is bound to fill up fast. Email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to reserve your place.
SUSANNA FORREST is the author of two critically acclaimed nonfiction titles that incorporate history, travel, memoir and reportage. Her latest, The Age of the Horse, is published by Atlantic Books in the UK and Atlantic Monthly Press in the USA. It’s currently being translated into Japanese by Hara Shobo. Described as “outstanding” (The Times) and a “work of art” (Booklist), it’s been an Amazon best-seller in the UK and Australia.
Susanna’s written for the New York Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Times and others, and got her first break editing and commissioning writers like Michel Faber, DBC Pierre and Sarah Hall at the Erotic Review magazine. In 2016 she won the Sophie Coe Prize for an essay on food history.