The Researched Personal Essay

First person essays prompt readers to ask difficult questions about themselves and their culture. Drawing out those questions, however, means moving beyond the personal, combining memoir's informal tone with the skills used in investigative journalism and academic writing. In this class, we will read sample essays by writers who have honed the craft of the researched personal essay. Participants will also develop, research and write their own essays to be workshopped during the second half of the course. To allow time for that process, the class will meet every other week.

  • Instructor: Rachel Martin
  • Length of workshop: 8 weeks
  • Dates: Wednesdays, September 7 and 21, October 5 and 19, November 2, 16, and 30, and December 14 (every other Wednesday from Sept. 7 - Dec. 14)
  • Time: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Cost: $291 non-members$261 members
  • Location: The Skillery in Germantown

About the Instructor:

Rachel L. Martin has a Ph.D. in women’s and gender history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Most of her work has focused on the politics of memory—or how we remember and how we choose to forget the past—and the ways our selective memories contribute to America’s ongoing inequality. In a piece for the Bitter Southerner, she used Nashville's hot chicken craze to explore ongoing issues of race, development and segregation in the city. It was included in Cornbread Nation 2015: Best of Southern Food Writing. She has published other essays with The Atlantic online, NarrativelyThe Kernel by the Daily Dot, GrazeThe Inquisitive EaterO Say Can You See? Stories from the National Museum of American History and Southern Rambles. She is a reader/editorial assistant for Narratively.

September 6
Formal Poetry