Aug 262010



Learn the techniques to crafting a professional personal essay and the inside tricks on how to pitch it to major newspapers, magazines and online publications. 

Tuesday, Sept. 7, 6:30–9 p.m., at the Castleberry Point Loft Complex, 327 Nelson Ave. #313, Atlanta, GA 30313 (Click HERE for directions)


Class Info: 

How do you think Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love got her start? By submitting personal essays to major magazines, that’s how. The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Vogue, Glamour, and Esquire (not to mention scores of online publications) regularly publish personal essays from both established and new-on-the-scene writers. In fact, editors love personal essays. Another fact is that a published personal essay creates a great platform for getting the attention of a literary agent. But equally true is the litany of novice mistakes people make that keeps their piece from making it into the call-back pile. This workshop will teach how you to avoid those mistakes while also enlightening you to the fact that, yes, there really is a system to crafting an engaging personal essay that captures the eye of an editor and moves your submission ahead of the others. So, whether you’re entering a competion or submitting to an editor for publication, this is your chance to discover creative trechniques — as well as avoid the common pitfalls — so that your story stands out.
In this workshop you will learn:
How to mine your own life for relevant stories that appeal to editors
How to take that popular story you keep telling your friends and turn it into a compelling narrative
Where to start — should it be at the beginning? Not always.
How to turn a journal entry into a publishable piece
The contact info of editors in the market for your material
People who have taken this workshop have gone on to get published in national magazines. Listen to what they have to say:
“It’s one of the best things I ever did for my writing career. By the end of the class, Hollis had helped me take one of those crazy ideas in my head and turn it into a finished essay, ready to be emailed to an editor. Within two months, that essay led directly to two assignments from a senior editor at Family Circle magazine.” Susan Contreras, Atlanta, GA

 Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 6:30–9 p.m.

Cost: $69

 Class held in the Castleberry Point live/work loft complex! 327 Nelson Ave. #313, Atlanta, GA 30313

100% Safe and Secure – We are PayPal verified.Click now and you’ll get an immediate email confirming your seat. Instant confirmation only available online (to pay by check see below)  

  1. Write a check for the cost of the class payable to “Hollis Gillespie” and mail to:
  2. Hollis Gillespie, Shocking Real Life, P.O. Box 89083, Atlanta,  GA 30312–0083.
  3. Send Hollis a note at Include your name, email, which seminar you are signing up for, and the date the check was mailed.
  4. After Hollis receives your check, you will get a confirmation email notifying you that you are registered in the class.

CLASSROOM LOCATION is in the historic Castleberry Artist District at 327 Nelson Ave. #313, Atlanta, GA 30313. The workshop space is a large live/work loft complex in Castleberry Point. There is ample street side parking as well as covered parking. CLICK HERE for directions from your location.



Instructor Bio

Hollis Gillespie is a personal-essay judge for the highly-esteemed annual Writer’s Digest writing competition. She is also a Writer’s Digest “Breakout Author of the Year,” an award-winning, syndicated humor columnist, NPR commentator and author of “The Ugly American,” a travel column in Paste magazine. Her books are titled Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch; Tales from a Bad Neighborhood (ReganBooks, 2003), the film rights of which were bought by Paramount, Confessions of a Recovering Slut and Other Love Stories (ReganBooks, 2005), and Trailer Trashed; My Dubious Efforts Toward Upward Mobility (Skirt!/Globe Pequot, 2008). Her monthly humor column can be found in Atlanta magazine, recipient of the National Magazine Award two years in a row.

Hollis Gillespie with Jay Leno
Hollis Gillespie with Jay Leno after her appearance on The Tonight Show
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