Writing the Personal Essay
The author Dinty Moore describes the personal essay as being for writers who want to capture a bit of life, producing a written record of their better thoughts. Like the short story in fiction, the personal essay is one of the original forms of creative nonfiction. It is a lively form that has tracked through the ages—from ancient archetypes to the school of Enlightenment essayists, 19th-century realists and romantics to robust 20th-century conventionalists, and on to Digital Age innovators where it deeply informs blogs, social media posts, and other contemporary writings. Conventions of the craft are covered in this course, but students will not be expected to embrace creativity-stifling rules. The work will be hands-on, with workshopping that pushed students to pursue new pathways and fresh approaches in their personal essay writing.