The Non-Traditional Essay Workshop with E.B. Bartels
You may have learned that there was only one correct way to write an essay (five paragraphs) but in fact, the ways to write an essay are limitless! This course will dive into some particularly unusual and unique forms of the essay: the braided essay, the lyric essay, the mosaic essay, and the hermit crab essay, among others. Looking at examples from writers such as Roxane Gay, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jo Ann Beard, Melissa Febos, Samantha Irby, Durga Chew-Bose, and Bonnie Tsui, we will discuss alternative approaches to the form and tackle prompts to get your own non-traditional essay juices flowing!
E.B. Bartels is a writer, editor, and teacher from Massachusetts. She holds a BA in Russian from Wellesley College and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Her nonfiction has appeared in Catapult, Electric Literature, The Believer Logger, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Toast, The Butter, Entropy, FullStop, Ploughshares online, and the anthology The Places We’ve Been: Field Reports from Travelers Under 35, among others. She is a regular performer in Mortified, and her flash nonfiction piece “Vulnerable” was the winner of the 2018 Eldridge Tide & Pilot Book Story Contest. She also writes the monthly column Non-Fiction by Non-Men for Fiction Advocate, in which she interviews women and non-binary people who write nonfiction. Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter, E.B.’s narrative nonfiction book about the world of loving and losing animals, exploring the singular nature of our bonds with our companion animals, and how best to grieve for them once they’ve passed away, is forthcoming from Mariner Books on August 2, 2022. E.B. is an instructor at the creative writing center GrubStreet, the Wellesley Writes It editor for Wellesley Underground, and an on-again-off-again bookseller at Newtonville Books. In addition to writing, E.B. also works as a freelance editor, a manuscript consultant, a writing coach, a tutor, and a senior editorial writer in the communications and public affairs department at Wellesley College. She lives in the Boston area with her husband, Richie, and their many pets.