Coronavirus Update

For the safety of our community, UWPCE programs will be taught remotely for the 2020-21 academic year.

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Writing & Publishing the Personal Essay


Course Details

This course can only be taken as part of the Certificate in Writing.

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About this Course

What is a personal essay, and how do you write one in a way that engages your reader? In this course, you’ll learn the careful art of crafting a compelling personal essay.

We’ll work our way through each essential phase of the process: generating topic ideas, developing a first draft, workshopping in class, revising and editing, and submitting for publication. Together we’ll explore the thriving market for personal essays and analyze the various outlets for your writing. Guest speakers from online and print publications will offer strategies and insider tips for pitching and submitting your work.

Designed For

Those interested in crafting personal essays and getting them published.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to shape a basic concept into a viable essay subject
  • Effective types of essay structures
  • How to collect and apply feedback in the revision process
  • Ways to foster relationships with editors and pitch your work to publications
  • Techniques for navigating the process of selling and promoting your work

Get Hands-On Experience

  • Develop a solid draft of your personal essay
  • Craft a pitch letter that you can send to editors and publishers

Program Overview

To earn the Certificate in Writing, you need to complete three courses in two years or less.


You should register for all courses individually; there is no application process for the certificate program.

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