Have you always wanted to write about your crazy family? What about an accident that changed the course of your life? A discovery that changed your perception of the past? A mysterious neighbor whose comings and goings excite your imagination? If you know you want to, but you don’t know where to start, this is your class. “By the end,” says Jenny, “you’ll walk away with a rough draft of a personal essay.
“With the help of lectures, in-class writing exercises, and discussions, we’ll bring your theme into focus; you may not be able to cover your entire family saga in 800 words, but you can write a funny, sad, poignant essay about the Christmas Eve your uncle got drunk and set in motion an irreparable series of events that affects your family to this day.
“We’ll expand your stories to get every last detail on the table, and through group work help each other unpack our memory suitcases. Finally, we’ll look at a series of effective published essays, examine the nuts and bolts of how they were put together, and discuss why — or why not — an essay pierces us to the core.”
Jenny Pritchett holds a degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern University and an MFA in creative writing from SFSU. She has published personal essays on Salon.com and in the San Francisco Weekly, Northwestern, Girlfriends, Bitch, and XY magazines. The former managing editor of Fourteen Hills, she has taught or lectured at SFSU, California College of the Arts, Ex’pression College for Digital Arts, and IAIA in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her story collection, At or Near the Surface (Fourteen Hills Press), won the 2008 Michael Rubin Chapbook Award.