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8-Week Online Intro to Personal Essay

Class Begins October 14, 2019


$495 New Student | $470 Returning

There is no form more timeless, or more timely, than the personal essay. But without guidance, writing narrative about your own life can be daunting. People often worry, Is it really ok to admit to things I'm not supposed to have done or felt? What if my boss reads it? What if my dad reads it? What if I hurt someone's feelings? What if my memory of events doesn't line up with someone else's memory? This class will explore those questions and others. You will get weekly writing prompts, a fun community of fellow essayists, and two chances to have your work critiqued by the group and the instructor. You will read great essays and discuss why they work (the instructor will provide links, so you won't need to buy books). Most importantly, you will do plenty of essay-writing. By the end of the course, you will have at least one polished essay. This class is for all writers, whether you've hardly written a word or have been writing for years. All you need is an Internet connection. No prior nonfiction study or workshop experience is required.

NOTE: The instructor will provide links to assigned reading material, so you won't need to buy books for this course.

  • Instructor: Diana Spechler

  • Class size limited to 8 writers

  • October 14, 2019 to December 9, 2019

  • Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.


Instructor Diana Spechler is the author of the novels Who by Fire and Skinny, of the New York Times column Going Off, and of a nonfiction book forthcoming from Crown Publishing. Her work has appeared in GQ, the Wall Street Journal, Harper's, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, Tin House Open Bar, Paris Review Daily, Travel & Leisure, Glimmer Train Stories,  The Southern Review, Lenny Letter, Playboy, and many other publications. She is the recipient of a number of awards and fellowships, including a Hawthornden Castle Residency and the Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize from A Room of Her Own Foundation. She is also a seven-time Moth Story Slam winner who has been featured on NPR.

Student Testimonials

“I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed my online class through WWD with Diana Spechler. I was encouraged, challenged and had a blast; and my writing is finally getting the workshopping it needs. Thank you Blake and Diana for creating such an incredible experience! Will definitely be taking more classes ASAP!”

“Diana’s personal essay workshop was a very good experience. It provided some good direction and structure for my writing, and that is exactly what I needed. I may want to repeat the course in the not too distant future in hopes of taking the next step with my personal essay writing.”