ClassBeyond Memoir: Incorporating Research into the Personal Essay
Would you like to turn a personal experience into a nuanced story? Do you have a particular memory that demands to be translated into a compelling narrative? In this class, we will explore how research helps us tell personal stories that are bigger than ourselves. Whether exploring the depths of our memories, combing newspaper archives, or analyzing scientific texts, research comes in many forms. Incorporating research into memoir can give us new terms and frameworks for understanding and talking about personal experiences.
Each week, we'll read a variety of personal essays in lyric, braided, and experimental forms to learn about how writers use research to craft powerful narratives on the page. We will also read craft essays on specific topics and complete weekly low-stakes writing exercises that encourage you to explore various types of research and narrative forms. Whether you are polishing your memoir or just looking to explore the possibilities of personal journalism, this class will provide you with concrete tools and techniques to complete first and final drafts.
This course will culminate in a workshop of a first draft and a discussion of how to pitch and publish personal essays.