CNF tip of the week: Personal Essay

The CNFC and carte blanche want your writing! Send your best, previously unpublished nonfiction piece of 3,000 words or less—  whether it’s literary journalism, memoir, personal essay, or lyric essay — by November 30th, 2017. For more information about these subcategories, read on. Today, we feature…

Personal Essay

To “essay” means to try, and a personal essay is an informal and idiosyncratic attempt to explore an idea and its relationship to the author’s life. Rooted in personal experience and often written in an intimate voice, like a letter to a friend, it is also a record of a mind at work, a way of thinking on the page. A flexible and capacious form, it is open to any subject and to a range of tones, although its exploratory, self-questioning stance is its special signature and strength.

A few examples

Virginia Woolf: “Street Haunting.”

Annie Dillard: “Total Eclipse.”

Jane Silcott: “Divine Language.”

John Sherman: “Taking Up Smoking at the End of the World.”

To learn more

http://creativenonfictioncollective.ca/listen-whos-afraid-personal-essay-workshop-andreas-schroeder/ (password protected for CNFC members)

https://www.creativenonfiction.org/online-reading/picturing-personal-essay-visual-guide

http://www.unm.edu/~gmartin/Essays/Writing%20Personal%20Essays%20-%20Turning%20Oneself%20into%20a%20Character.pdf

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/09/07/me-myself-and-i

http://www.utne.com/arts/howtowriteapersonalessay (for fun)

Leave a Reply