Nonfiction | Workshop

6-Week Nonfiction Workshop: Polishing the Personal Essay

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"Do not miss this opportunity to work with her, BELIEVE ME, your writing will thank you."
- Chloe Caldwell, author of I'll Tell You in Person and Women

In this course, you will learn how to transform a rough draft into a polished, submission-ready essay. We'll discuss the difference between a general edit and a line edit, and how to do both. You will learn to recognize weaknesses and bad habits in your writing, how to anticipate them, and how to amplify your own strengths. We'll also read a few classic pieces on editing and revision and discuss concrete tactics that these pieces recommend. By the end of this course, you will have learned the difference between a first draft and a final draft, and will be ready to make a pitch list!


-intensive feedback from peers and instructor on two personal essays

-one private meeting with the instructor to discuss writing style, goals, and areas for improvement

-straightforward, practical lessons on how to be your own best editor 

-detailed information on the submission process, from best practices in preparing pieces for submission, to what editors look for in pitches, to what venues are best suited to your work

-more confidence as a writer, on and off the page 

*no class July 3rd

Ruth Curry

Ruth Curry is a writer, an editor, and the cofounder of Emily Books. Her work has appeared in the Paris Review Daily, Buzzfeed, Bookforum, Nylon, N+1 (online), Brooklyn Magazine, and Refinery 29. She grew up in Illinois and now makes her home in Brooklyn.


"Ruth Curry edits with the expertise of a surgeon and yet delivers the diagnosis with the insight and warmth of a therapist. She is the perfect champion - she understands how difficult writing can be, and yet believes passionately in how good it can get. I owe my first book, in part, to her encouragement. And she is also, quite simply, a delight to be with: cynical, funny, and astonishingly well-read."

Profile Photo Nadja Spiegelman author of I'M SUPPOSED TO PROTECT YOU FROM ALL THIS

"Ruth Curry is my ideal editor. Her attention to detail, forthright honesty, and perfectionism have made my writing tighter and given me life-long skills and tips I can use going forward. Ruth has a rich perspective as she is not only an editor, but a voracious reader and gifted writer. She's seen all sides. Do not miss this opportunity to work with her, BELIEVE ME, your writing will thank you."

Profile Photo Chloe Caldwell author of I'LL TELL YOU IN PERSON and WOMEN

"Ruth Curry is the sort of reader who gives you the tough advice you need to make a story better because she believes you are up for the challenge. I cannot begin to count the number of times Ruth has gifted me a perfect detail, a structural shift I didn't know I needed, or a slyly circled note that reads: 'This might be your story's real ending' when of course, of course, it was. Everyone should be so lucky as to have Ruth's eyes on a draft."

CJ Hauser author of THE FROM-AWAYS