Writing the Personal Essay–9 week course

I’ll be teaching a 9-week course through the Loyola Writing Institute. The course is open to the public and limited to 12 students. The class will meet for two hours every Thursday, beginning on Sept 22, 2016. Feel free to email me with questions.  You can register for the course here.

Writing the Personal Essay: In this course, students of all levels will draw on a combination of research and life experience to produce polished essays on subjects of their choosing. Students will read essays by award-winning authors such as Eula Biss, Joan Didion, Susan Orlean, Leslie Jamison, Kiese Laymon, and John Jeremiah Sullivan and, through class discussion, consider aspects of craft, structure, and content. Short, generative exercises will provide opportunities to practice specific writing techniques including dialogue, pacing, reflection, and characterization. During the last several weeks of class, students will workshop their own personal essays. The course will conclude with a discussion of revision, publishing, and developing a personal practice of writing.

The Heart You Save Won’t Be Your Own

“That August I moved from a high ceiling dorm room in a historic landmark to the attic of an old flag shop downtown. The distance was a few miles, but the difference was like flipping channels from Masterpiece Theater to Cops. My dorm had overlooked manicured lawns and a circular garden with an endowment all its own; my new house was two doors down from a grass rotary where women sold blow jobs for $5.”

 

Over at Guernica, I wrote about heart transplants, social services, and quitting my first job after college. Here’s a link!

Student Writing featured in The Maroon

In grad school at Ole Miss, Tom Franklin had his fiction students compete in a detail contest each week. We had to bring an observation, no longer than a sentence, to class each week, and the winner received a book. The exercise taught me how much impact a specific, surprising sentence can make. Now, I have my own creative writing students at Loyola do the same exercise. This week, some of the best details from the semester are featured in the student newspaper, The Maroon.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN!!

I’m teaching a class called Writing The Personal Essay for the Walker Percy Center.

The class starts on March 24th and enrollment is open to the public. Here’s a description:

Writing the Personal Essay
Instructor: Anya Groner • Mondays from 7 – 9 pm • begins March 24

Classes are held at Loyola University in New Orleans
We will read and discuss the writing of essayists such as David Sedaris, Eula Biss, Joan Didion, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and others, paying special attention to the literary elements that make good writing come alive. Short, generative writing exercises will give students the opportunity to practice specific craft skills, leading up to a final project, a personal essay which we will workshop toward revision. We will also look at markets for creative nonfiction and at the process of submitting work for publication.

I’d love for you to join us! Check out my class and the other fantastic writing classes the Walker Percy Center sponsors  HERE!