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Writing Workshops

Crafting Personal Narratives with Zaina Arafat


2 Sessions

In stock

Monday & Tuesday 7:00 pm EDT - 9:15 pm EDT November 8 to November 9, 2021

Online via Zoom

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear,” Joan Didion once wrote. Indeed, personal essays and identity-based narratives allow us to make sense of our lived experiences. But translating a raw, emotional experience into an essay or story that doesn’t feel like a simple recounting of that experience without any deeper resonance can be challenging.

In this workshop, participants will learn how to create pieces that speak to both the specific and the universal, and how to craft personal experiences into artful, layered pieces. The class will examine the ways in which distinguishing a unique voice can help to establish a platform as a writer and build a writing career. It will also discuss the process of pitching, submitting, and publishing. Writers of varying levels can benefit from this course, whether they are new to the form or they have a substantial publishing record and are seeking to deepen their writing practice.

All Levels
Capacity: 20


Led by

  • ZainaArafat

    Zaina Arafat

    Zaina Arafat

    Zaina Arafat is an LGBTQ Arab-American writer based in Brooklyn. Her debut novel, You Exist Too Much, won a 2021 Lambda Literary Award and was named Roxane Gay’s favorite book of 2020. Her essays and articles have appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, VICE, BuzzFeed, Granta, Guernica, the Believer, Harper’s Bazaar, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She holds an MA in international affairs from Columbia University and an MFA from the University of Iowa. In recognition of her service through writing to both immigrant and LGBTQ communities, she was awarded the Arab Women/Migrants from the Middle East fellowship at Jack Jones Literary Arts, and named a Champion of Pride by The Advocate.