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$25.00 USD

Faculty:  Laura Lippman

The personal essay is a highly personal form -- and sometimes a maligned one. In this course, I hope to help students realize the optimal versions of the stories they want to tell and to stress the values that personal essays share with all nonfiction -- clarity, voice, even rigorous reporting at times.  

In a single file, submit one or more personal essays plus a 1-page synopsis (as the final page).  The entire submission should not exceed 26 pages (25 + 1p synopsis).  Short pieces are powerful and worth workshopping, so please don't feel obligated to hit the 25p limit.  Synopsis should include if your submission is/are stand-alone piece(s) or part of a collection, where we are in the narrative if part of a longer work; and a brief paragraph summarizing the status of the project (i.e., unfinished first draft, completed first draft, completed draft which has undergone multiple revisions, etc.).   Required format for writing samples:  

  1. Page numbers must be consecutive throughout the manuscript.
  2. Font must be 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial.
  3. Margins must be 1 inch.
  4. All manuscripts must be double-spaced including the one-page synopsis
  5. All manuscripts must contain a header or footer with page numbers and author’s name.
  6. No extra spacing between paragraphs except that which indicates transitions.
  7. If submitting from a longer work, please do not submit more than 26 pages (25 of manuscript + 1-pg synopsis).  The coordinator will cut as necessary. 
  8. Do not include title pages or dedications.
  9. Please submit in a single file.
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