Writing the Personal Essay


Learn the basics of the personal essay form, generate ideas for essay topics, and complete at least one solid draft in this intensive workshop.


What you can learn.

  • Generate ideas for powerful essays based on your lived experiences
  • Read masterworks in the personal essay genre to learn the best techniques
  • Complete writing exercises designed to be jumping off points for new essays
  • Read and critique the work of other writers in class

About this course:

The personal essay inspires both readers and writers to discover new perspectives for looking at the world, understanding their own lives, and discovering meaning in even those moments that without pondering might seem unimportant. It is also among the most marketable of genres. In this four-day course, you engage in writing exercises, small group work, readings of master essayists, workshopping, and studying marketing techniques; in the process, you unearth new story ideas, create messy first drafts, and learn the art and joy of rewriting as well as the pains and pleasures of publication. By the end of our four days together, you will have crafted one 500-to-2,000-word personal essay, as well as planted and begun to develop seeds for many future essays. Suitable for both new and experienced writers.

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.

This course applies towards the following certificates & specializations…

Keep up to date on the latest news and offerings in Creative Writing

vector icon of building

Corporate Education

Learn how we can help your organization meet its professional development goals and corporate training needs.

Learn More

vector icon of building

Donate to UCLA Extension

Support our many efforts to reach communities in need.

Innovation Programs

Student Scholarships

Coding Boot Camp

Lifelong Learning