The Personal Essay, Revamped with Jenny Tinghui Zhang


8-week Non-Fiction Workshop — 12 students

Time & Date:
Thursdays, 6:30 — 9:00 pm
April 16th — June 4th

Austin Bat Cave
1210 Rosewood Ave. (map)

Member Price: $337.50*

For information on payment plans, please email emily@austinbatcave.org.

A diary entry. A Facebook post. A cover letter. A list on a post-it note. Since the writings of Seneca, the personal essay has always been a way for the writer and reader to connect through an intimate and honest exchange. Today, the modern personal essay has evolved to take on many different forms.

In this 8-week workshop, we’ll learn how to develop, structure, write, and publish personal essays, analyzing work by Alexander Chee, Joan Didion, Hanif Abdurraqib, James Baldwin, Cheryl Strayed, and others. Students will learn and practice techniques that bring self-awareness and reflection to the forefront of an essay, emphasizing vulnerability over navel-gazing. In the second half of the course, students will share and discuss their essays in a workshop setting.

Because this course deals with personal experiences, please remember to be respectful and compassionate as you take part in each class. This is a safe space for writers to tell their stories, whatever they may be.

*applies to Literary Superstar Membership Level only

This class is open to writers at all levels. 

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About the Instructor:

Jenny Tinghui Zhang is a Chinese-American writer from Austin. She holds an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Wyoming, is a 2016 VONA/Voices alumna, and a participant of the 2019 Tin House Summer Workshop. A columnist for Catapult, her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Apogee, CALYX, Ninth Letter, Passages North, wildness, and The Rumpus, with essays in Huffington Post, Bustle, and HelloGiggles, among others. She is a prose editor for The Adroit Journal. 

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