Exploring Personal Essays | Newberry

Exploring Personal Essays

Led by Linda Downing Miller. Six sessions. 6 - 7:30 pm
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Wednesdays, June 12 - July 17

6 - 7:30 pm

Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (May 7 at 9 am** – May 24 at 4 pm): $210
Regular Registration Price (May 24 at 4 pm – first day of class): $231

** Registration opens online at 9 am. Phone registration will be accepted starting at 10 am.

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.

Seminar Description

As a form of creative nonfiction, the personal essay is versatile, varied, and significantly different from the five-paragraph essay many people practiced in school. The word “essay” is derived from the French word “essayer”—“to try”—and it’s the spirit of exploration and experimentation that makes the personal essay so rewarding to write and read. In this course, we’ll discuss contemporary examples of essays that take different, imaginative approaches to the genre, blending experience, research, and more. Participants will generate essay ideas and share one draft of an essay with the rest of the group.

Six sessions. E – $210, L – $231

Linda Downing Miller holds an MFA from Queens University and has led creative writing classes in Chicago since 2015. Her stories and essays have appeared in literary journals, newspapers, and magazines, including Chicago Quarterly Review and the Chicago Tribune.

Materials List


  • A selection of shorter materials distributed by the instructor.

First Reading:

For the first class, please read:

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.