The Quick and The Deep: Writing Short Personal Essays
In this generative workshop we will study and practice the art of the miniature personal essay. Works of 500 to 2,000 words are among the easiest to publish and the hardest to write. To reach true emotional depth in few pages requires both skillful economy of language and strength of heart; you have to get to the core of your experience, and swiftly. We will examine the work of the form’s masters (Annie Dillard, Jo Ann Beard, Junot Diaz, and others), sharpen our tools of craft—especially story structure, pacing, and the art of both showing and telling—and produce our own original drafts. Participants will leave the workshop with multiple essays to revise, expand, and submit.
Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir, Whip Smart, and the essay collection, Abandon Me. Febos is the inaugural winner of the Jean Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary and the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Vermont Studio Center, and others. Her work has recently appeared in Tin House, Granta, The Believer, and The New York Times.