The Essay

Course tutor: Sanders Isaac Bernstein
When: Thursdays 19:30-21:30 (Last session will take place on Wed. Nov. 2nd)
Date: September 22, 2022
Where: Another Country Bookshop
Number of sessions: 7
Maximum participants: 12
Cost: €200

Essays are something alive. Flexible, ambiguous, mercurial, essays roam wildly and widely. An essay can be about the death of a moth or oranges. It can confront your worst heartbreak or the legacy of the Stasi. It can take shape as a breathless, un-ending paragraph, or emerge from fragments. The essay is a journey where you describe your destination, build your ship, and chart your course, while also reimagining the map. It’s an adventure where you’re making up all the rules. 

Do you have personal experiences whose impersonal significance you want to crystallize? Or do you have an argument you want to make and you’re looking for the right shape? Maybe you’ve been falling into familiar writing modes and maneuvers and would like to break out of them?

Over the seven weeks of this workshop, you’ll have the chance to deepen your own essay practice while also learning from your fellow course participants—and the essayists who have come before us. Along with reading each other’s work, we’ll also learn from essayists like Joan Didion, James Baldwin, Irina Dumitrescu, and Virginia Woolf, to name only a few.

The course will be built around workshop sessions every week. We’ll also explore together a genre of essay each week—including the personal essay, the review essay, the lyric essay, and even the fictional essay—to help us reflect on our own writing and those of our fellow workshop colleagues. There’ll be reading, exercises, and time for workshop—meaning that you’ll come out of this not only with vital feedback for future revisions, but also greater resources for future writing.

This workshop is open to writers of all genres and all experiences. Please come to the course ready to workshop at least one piece.

email 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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