“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!
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.
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!