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Everyone has a story, but not everyone knows how to tell that story. Enter the personal essay, the perfect scaffolding to help share everything from a memorable encounter on a high-speed train to the time your mother revealed a family secret while carving the Thanksgiving turkey. A personal essay can be humorous or harrowing, poignant or political, but it always follows the writer’s journey through a particular experience.

“We’ll squeeze the juice from our experiences, explore our emotional landscapes, and make meaning out of the ordinary and extraordinary events of our lives,” says instructor Erin Van Rheenen. “With the help of in-class writing, craft lectures, and discussion, writers will find their own voice and see it come alive on the page.” This five-week online course will also look at how great essay writers like Jaswinder Bolina and Robin Wall Kimmerer utilize theme, voice, scene-setting, and character. Then we’ll apply those lessons to our own work. "If students feel ready, they’ll have the opportunity to share drafts in class and get feedback from their fellow writers and from me," says Erin.

The goal after five weeks is to complete an authentic, well-crafted first-person narrative of about 800 words, while also generating material for future essays. This class is for beginning writers or writers new to the personal essay form.


About The Writing Salon's Remote Classes

You will be able to participate in live class meetings via Zoom videoconference. To attend classes, you'll need a phone, tablet or computer and access to the internet. You can participate in the class from wherever you'd like, whether on your living room couch or in your office. Before your class meets, you'll receive an email from The Writing Salon with more information about Zoom and your remote class. If you have any questions about remote learning, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at hello@writingsalons.com.



No Instructor Specified

  1. Live Zoom Meeting: Wednesday, April 20, 6:30pm-9:00pm
  2. Live Zoom Meeting: Wednesday, April 27, 6:30pm-9:00pm
  3. Live Zoom Meeting: Wednesday, May 04, 6:30pm-9:00pm
  4. Live Zoom Meeting: Wednesday, May 11, 6:30pm-9:00pm
  5. Live Zoom Meeting: Wednesday, May 18, 6:30pm-9:00pm
  • Erin was a wonderful teacher. She was personable, kind, organized, and great with facilitating group discussion.

    Katy L.


Thursday, April 21, 2022 @ 1:30 am PDT
Thursday, May 19, 2022 @ 4:00 am PDT
Event Categories:


Online (BK Zoom)
Live Remote Meetings, ZOOM
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Cancellation Policy

10 days or more before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 10% fee OR a refund minus a 20% fee.

3-9 days before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 20% fee OR a refund minus a 30% fee.

2 days or less before the start date for a class, the registrant will not receive a credit or a refund.

The Writing Salon cannot offer refunds, credits, or makeup sessions for classes a student might miss.

In the event of an emergency, we may consider a refund or credit, whether partial or full. We review these requests on a case-by-case basis, and we ask that you notify us as near as possible to the start date for the class.

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