Writing the Personal Essay: Capturing the Moment in 1000 Words with Jane Ganahl (Sunday, March 3)
Instructor: Jane Ganahl
Number of sessions: 1
Meeting time: 10am to 1pm
Dates: Sunday, March 3
Course fee: $75 for the session with a deposit of $50, bagels and coffee provided.
To register, contact the instructor. All deposits are nonrefundable.
Description: Today at lunch, an elderly woman finished her restaurant meal and tiptoed over to bury her nose deeply in a huge urn full of lavender lilacs by my table. She looked up at me, we smiled at each other – and then she was gone. I began to ponder right then how to turn that tiny but potent moment into an essay. Perhaps I’d muse on whether someday I’d also learn to smell the (metaphoric or literal) flowers? Every day there are moments such as these that are ripe for mining, and for spinning into words that tell a universal truth. How do you identify those moments? How do you then find their universal truths? And then, how on earth do you tell the story in 800 to 1200 words? All it takes is a little tuning in – to life, to yourself – and some practice with the writing part. On this morning, we’ll discuss all the above, and students will learn how to write a first-class personal essay – as a writing exercise to help hone their craft, and perhaps even for publication. And I’ll give advice on how to get your essays read – both online and in print.
Instructor Bio: Award-winning journalist Jane Ganahl has written more than 500 essays during her career as newspaper columnist, magazine freelancer, and anthology contributor. She has penned essays for a variety of publications including Hearst Newspapers, Bazaar, HuffingtonPost.com, Ladies Home Journal, Salon.com, RollingStone.com, SecondAct.com, Match.com and more. She is the author of a memoir, “Naked on the Page: the Misadventure of My Unmarried Midlife” (Viking, 2008) and contributor to five anthologies. She is also the co-founder and artistic director of Litquake.http://www.