Crafting Personal Essay Writing Workshop
On Saturday I attended a writing workshop offered by Whidbey Island Writers Association (WIWA) for “Crafting and Publishing Personal Essays,” taught by Corbin Lewars and Jennifer Monro. I’ve been dabbling with writing short pieces of some of my experiences in Alaska and my recent trip to the British Virgin Islands. I thought this workshop would help guide me in the right direction.
Essay / Memoir Structure
Six hours later (plus 2 hours drive time), $75 dollars shorter, I’m glad I spent the time and the money. It’s been years since I’ve learned the basics of essay writing. The structure is, for the most part, the same. One difference is there does not need to be a thesis statement. The thesis point or overall theme has to be clear. The first sentence, as well as the title, are critical as they both hook the reader. This is the fun part as a hook is catchy and fun. What makes the middle part of the essay is you. This is where you do your best to relate to the reader. Afer all you are the one who had the experience, or wrestled with an issue, idea, feeling or conflict. The end is the result or resolution. But, it can be a mild resolution and does not have to be positive.
Getting Your Essays / Memoirs Published
Both Corbin and Jennifer spent a good chunk of time going over publications on where to send your essay. On Jennifer’s site she has a fantastic resource list. For all my SciFi and Fantasy writer friends out there check out Angie’s Desk. Jennifer also recommended that writers be choosy on which contests they submit too and be sure to weight out the benefits. Submitting a short story or essay instead of submitting to a contest may be the better route as there is no fee and there might be a greater chance for recognition by agents and editors.
The Upcoming Writing Week
With the class, yard work and social events I did not get a chance to write all weekend. I’m looking forward to the writing week ahead to catch up on my WIP and dabble with a personal essay.
- What would be a good way to start a creative writing essay? (creativewriting504.wordpress.com)
- Return to Me (thenightwriter.wordpress.com)
- I Am a Liar (suzannefarrellsmith.wordpress.com)
- So Much More Self There: Ander Monson on Truth in Nonfiction (brevity.wordpress.com)
- “I remember…” (ifacethesun.wordpress.com)