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Writing—and Publishing—Personal Essays (in-person class) – Class is now full. Email programs @writerhouse.org to be added to waitlist.

September 21 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm EDT

Event Series Event Series (See All)
Sharon Harrigan

Instructor: Sharon Harrigan
$229 Members | $250 Nonmembers
Thursdays, 9/21/23 – 11/9/23 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Before signing up for this in-person class, please read the following statement about requirements to enroll:

By registering for an in-person offering, you attest that you have been vaccinated for Covid-19. WriterHouse strongly recommends any student at greater risk for contracting Covid-19 wear a mask. In the event of significant Covid-19 upticks, students must be prepared for the mask policy to change and to transition to a virtual platform if necessary. No refunds will be issued if in-person classes/seminars need to transition online.

In this class, you will learn about the wide variety of personal essays published in literary journals, arts and culture magazines, consumer magazines, and newspapers. We will discuss the different structures, formats, and lengths that each type of publication specializes in. We will look at examples of personal essays that read like mini memoirs, those that include a more journalistic or research-based approach, and those that feature a little of each. Every class will be divided into three parts: For the first hour, we will discuss a published essay; the second hour will be devoted to in-class writing; and the third hour will be reserved for workshopping. You don’t need to have written a personal essay before the first class. Those who would like feedback on longer essays can make special arrangements with the instructor.

Sharon Harrigan is the author of the debut novel Half, which was published in summer 2020, and the memoir Playing with Dynamite, published in 2017. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University and has published more than 50 personal essays, short stories, and reviews in such venues as Virginia Quarterly Review, New York Times (Modern Love), and Narrative. A starred Booklist review called Half “suspenseful, lyrical, and consuming,” and Publishers’ Weekly called the novel “riveting and inventive.”

Sharon’s current and former students have published their work in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Rumpus, NPR, Gravel, The Guardian, Gettysburg Review, Bay Journal, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Living Lutheran Magazine, Mothers Always Write, Fluvanna Review, Charlottesville Family, The Ethos Collection, and Strong4Life, among others.

Registration for this class is now closed. Email programs@writerhouse.org if you’d like to be added to the waitlist.

Register By Mail: Print the Fall 2023 Registration Form and mail it with your payment to the address on the form.

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September 21
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
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Sharon Harrigan


508 Dale Avenue
Charlottesville, 22902 United States
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