Do you enjoy “Shouts and Murmurs” in New Yorker magazine? Books and essays in journal-entry form? Essays in literary journals told in sections organized by categories that resemble a non-literary structure you're familiar with such as a recipe, steps to a diagnosis, or lines from a nursery rhyme, among many other borrowed shells? Learn how to create your own hermit-crab-style essays, how to be inventive with the shells you consider in which your essay can “shelter,” and how to open up and go with a flow that builds meaning so the essay “weighs” more at the end than at the start.

In our first meeting, we will consider some hermit crab essays and start on exercises for you to produce your own. In our second meeting, we will workshop those essays to empower you toward expansion and revision. The instructor teaches her popular 3-Step Response Method so that her response and that of each participant empower the writer with guidance about what needs attention in the draft rather than traditional critiquing (which in its root means to tear apart and criticize).

Once you’ve considered the hermit crab structure and written a personal essay that employs it, you will want to use it more and more often to reach material that evokes, surprises and enlightens, even entertains at times.

Wednesdays, April 19 & 26.

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