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"Memoir in Miniature: The Art of the Personal Essay" Online with M. M. Adjarian

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Online Class

4/8/2020 From 06:30 PM CST to 09:30 PM CST


$49 for Members
$109 for Non-Members

Everyone who registers will have access to the class recording for one week.

You have a lifetime of unique stories to tell. But do you know how to take those ordinary – and sometimes not-so-ordinary – experiences and transform them into extraordinary reading that will leave your readers hungry for more?

These days, it seems like everyone – from tween/teen bloggers to seasoned New York Times best-selling authors – is writing about their lives. But what makes some stories more satisfying than others? And more to the point, how can you tell the difference between the kinds of personal stories people want to read and the ones they don't?

In this class, you’ll learn the art of the personal essay through an in-depth, guided discussion of models by contemporary writers and exercises designed to help you craft a 500 word+ mini personal essay (also known as "flash" nonfiction) that you can use as the basis for (1) a more substantial essay (2500+ words), suitable for journal submission or (2) the seed for a book-length project.

The class is intended for writers of all levels, from beginner to advanced, and will explore how to sift through story material to find those all-important tension points that make people take notice, grab readers by the throat from the start with compelling openings and “shoot straight from the gut” to avoid the narrative clichés guaranteed to turn readers off.



  • You're writing or interested in writing memoir or personal essays.
  • You're getting ready to publish a book of fiction and want to publish personal essays to help promote it.
  • You're trying to find the heart of your memoir.



  • "The writing exercises were great and she suggested a 10-minute a day, every morning (or whenever works for someone) writing practice using a different prompt every day. I thought it was SUCH a great idea!!"
  • "Felt more like a discussion rather than a lecture which I liked"
  • "Excellent, excellent, excellent"



M. M. (Maude) Adjarian has published her essays, short fiction and poetry in such journals as the Baltimore Review, Grub Street, Verdad, South 85, The Serving House Journal, Pif, Gravel, Glint and Crack the Spine, among others. A senior non-fiction book reviewer at Kirkus, her articles have also appeared in Arts+Culture Texas, Bitch Magazine, Tribeza-Austin and the Dallas Voice. Currently, she is at work on a family memoir provisionally titled This Life That Binds.






$49 members (sign in for member pricing)

$109 nonmembers


Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

Online registration will close at 5 p.m. CST on Wednesday, April 8. If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster.



Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven't taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to give us a call at 512-499-8914 if you'd like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit