Episode 99: Goodbye, Hello! Tom Barbash on ‘The Dakota Winters’

Tom Barbash & Laura Fraser
Tom Barbash (center) with Paul Harding and Laura Fraser.

“Where were you when you heard John Lennon was killed?” It’s a familiar question to people of a certain age, but Gen-Xers will not be the only ones fascinated by Tom Barbash’s early-’80s New York City flashback, The Dakota WintersWith veteran journalist and memoirist Laura Fraser as guest host, GrottoPod Episode 99 finds Barbash talking about his childhood in NYC’s Upper West Side and the process behind turning the biggest names of the late 19th century into his novel’s central players. “I wanted to say something new and true about John,” says Barbash.→ READ MORE

Episode 27: Laura Fraser On Turning Travel Into Books

Laura Fraser is, among other things, a best-selling memoirist; an instinctive muckraking journalist; a celebrated travel writer; the founder of Shebooks, a publishing imprint dedicated to women authors; and a Grotto O.G. (Original Gangsta). This week she joins the GrottoPod to discuss her travels and travails, mentors and mentoring, and the halcyon early days of the San Francisco Writers Grotto.

Personal Essay: The Monster and the Miracle (with Laura Fraser)


Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser

 

 

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 13  |  Michel de Montaigne, perhaps the father of the personal essay, wrote, “I have never seen no greater monster nor miracle than myself.” The personal essay has to identify the monster within us, and accomplish the miracle of transformation, through understanding and enlightenment. You have to track down the monster inside you, and worse, reveal it to the reader, and then describe how you set out to slay it. The transformation from monster to miracle is what makes your life interesting. A personal essay, above all, is not about you—it is about the story.

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Personal Essay: The Monster and the Miracle (with Laura Fraser)


Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser

 

 

 

SUNDAY, APRIL 24  |  Michel de Montaigne, perhaps the father of the personal essay, wrote, “I have never seen no greater monster nor miracle than myself.” A successful personal essay has to identify the monster within you, and accomplish the miracle of transformation, through understanding and enlightenment. A personal essay isn’t really about you—it’s about that transformation, that story.

This one-day course will teach you how to craft a personal essay. How do you take your personal experiences, ideas, blogs, or journal scraps and turn them into an essay? What is the difference between an essay that editors are excited about and one that never gets a return email?

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The Monster and the Miracle: Personal Essay Workshop (with Laura Fraser)


Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser

Contact: laura@laurafraser.com 

Number of sessions: 3

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Dates: Thursdays, March 3, 10, and 24  (no class on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17)

Course fee: $295

This is personal essay workshop is a perfect follow-up to Laura’s “The Monster and the Miracle” one-day class, but open to anyone who wants to write a personal essay. We will workshop the essays for structure, clarity, humor, and other aspects of craft. Laura will help you polish your essay and figure out venues where you can publish it.

Laura Fraser is an award-winning essayist and journalist whose personal essays have been published in Modern Love in the New York TimesO: the Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, and numerous other venues.

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Personal Essay: The Monster and the Miracle (with Laura Fraser)


Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser

Contact: laura@laurafraser.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Date: Sunday, January 31

Course fee: $125

NOTE: This class is sold out.

Michel de Montaigne, perhaps the father of the personal essay, wrote, “I have never seen no greater monster nor miracle than myself.” A successful personal essay has to identify the monster within you, and accomplish the miracle of transformation, through understanding and enlightenment. A personal essay isn’t really about you—it’s about that transformation, that story.

This one-day course will teach you how to craft a personal essay. How do you take your personal experiences, ideas, blogs, or journal scraps and turn them into an essay?

READ MORE

Personal Essay: The Monster and the Miracle (with Laura Fraser)


Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser

Contact: laura@laurafraser.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

Dates: Sunday, November 22

Course fee: $125

Michel de Montaigne, perhaps the father of the personal essay, wrote, “I have never seen no greater monster nor miracle than myself.”  A successful personal essay has to identify the monster within you, and accomplish the miracle of transformation, through understanding and enlightenment. A personal essay isn’t really about you—it’s about that transformation, that story.

This one-day course will teach you how to craft a personal essay. How do you you take your personal experiences, ideas, blogs, or journal scraps and turn them into an essay?

READ MORE

Writing the Personal Essay for Publication (with Laura Fraser)


Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser

Contact: laura@laurafraser.com

Number of sessions: 3

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Date: Thursdays, September 24; October 1 and 8

Course fee: $200

How do you take your personal writing from your journal or blog to publication? This class will explore how to write a personal essay—and how to get it published. We’ll talk about which of your experiences have universal appeal, how to shape your story, and when your personal writing is just too personal. We’ll also look at how to structure a personal essay, grabbing the reader’s attention and tugging them along to a satisfying ending. This class works for writers of all levels.

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Writing the Memoir (with Laura Fraser)


Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser

Contact: laura@laurafraser.com

Number of sessions: 8

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Dates: Wednesdays, July 8, 15, 22, 29, August 5, 12, 19, 26

Course fee: $540

An autobiography is the story of a life; a memoir is a story from a life. Great memoirs captivate us with their drama and inspire us with universal themes of transformation. Bad memoirs trudge through boring details and self-pitying moments. How do you shape your memories and experiences into a compelling story? What do you put in and leave out? How do you compress time and remember dialogue? William Zinsser wrote, “To write a memoir, you must manufacture a text.” That means practicing the storytelling crafts of creating tension, developing a dramatic narrative arc, knowing when to use scenes or summary, writing realistic dialogue, and developing a theme.

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Telling Your Story: Personal Essays for Publication (with Laura Fraser)


Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser

Contact: laura@laurafraser.com

Number of sessions: 3

Time: 6:30 pm-9:00 pm

Dates:  Tuesdays, May 19, 26, June 2

Course fee: $225

Everyone has a story–or many stories–to tell. Whether you’d like to write about your travels, relationships, crazy relatives, life challenges, or just put your cocktail party stories into writing, this workshop will help you shape your stories. Laura will offer practical advice about how to take the leap from writing in your journal or on a blog to crafting a publishable personal essay (or better blog posts!). For experienced writers, Laura will help you take your writing to the next level.

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