Personal Essays: An Intensive 8-Week Workshop *FULL*

Course tutor: Sanders Isaac Bernstein
When: Tuesdays, 19:00 - 21:30
Date: March 5, 2024
Where: Another Country Bookstore
Number of sessions: 8
Maximum participants: 12
Cost: 250 euros

Personal Essays: An Intensive 8-Week Workshop

This is class is now full! Waiting-list only.

Email us at hello@thereaderberlin.com to sign up!

Personal essays, a vital and vibrant contemporary genre, can be as unique and
heterogenous as each of us. Able to draw on the techniques of fiction, the forms of
poetry, and the conceptual argumentation of an analytic essay, these essays can take
whatever shape you wish to give them—whatever you can imagine.

Do you seek to crystallize the impersonal significance of your personal experience? Are
you looking to develop a conceptual argument through lived experience? Or, do you
simply want to experiment with new forms?

Over the eight weeks of this extended workshop, you’ll have the chance to deepen your
own writing practice by learning from the writing of each member of the course as well
as the essayists who have come before us. Along with reading each other’s work, we’ll
also read and discuss writers like James Baldwin, Leslie Jamison, and
Zadie Smith. There’ll be reading, exercises, time for workshop, and you’ll receive
workshop letters to return to—meaning that you’ll come out of this not only with vital
feedback for future revisions, but also greater resources for future writing.

The course will be built around workshopping—approaching texts in-process, thinking of
them from the inside. The first two sessions will engage the composition of a personal
essay—from genesis through revision—offering techniques as useful for veterans of the
form as beginners. The next six weeks then allow you to draw on these first two weeks of
discussions in workshops as you submit your own work and read that of your fellow
writers. Every participant will have the opportunity for one hour of workshop (either 2
30-minute sessions or 1 of 60-minute length).

This workshop is open to writers of all genres and all experiences. Please come to the
course ready to workshop at least one piece. This workshop will consist of 9 2.5 hour
sessions—8 weeks of workshop and a final evening of readings.

Email us at hello@thereaderberlin.com to sign up!

Sanders Isaac Bernstein is a writer living in Berlin. His work has appeared in newyorker.com, Los Angeles Review of Books, Hypocrite Reader, Ploughshares, Slow Travel Berlin, London Magazine, Majuscule, and The Bad Version, a literary magazine he founded and edited from 2011-2014. He holds degrees from Harvard College, the University of Oxford, and the University of Southern California, where he recently completed his doctorate in literature. If you’re looking for him in Berlin, chances are you can find him at the Berlinische Galerie. He likes the dimensions of the upstairs gallery very much—and can hardly tear himself away from that Fred Thieler.

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