Placing Personal Essays in Mainstream Publications: ONLINE

Building a platform has become a successful avenue towards landing an agent or securing a book deal. One way to help build your platform is by publishing work in mainstream venues where your voice and stories will get noticed. Pitching essays to newspapers and print and online magazines is a skill that comes with its own rules and guidelines. This class will teach you how to pitch essays, target market audiences, and adapt your work to appeal to mainstream publications. We'll examine and break down published work, and by the end of the class, you will be able to identify the parts and structure of what makes an essay appealing to a mainstream pub. Feel free to bring in something you're working on for feedback, but it's not required. You'll go home with handouts for reference, a cohesive list of potential markets, and — hopefully — plenty of inspiration.


"I learned more from this class than in an entire semester of nonfiction class at Emerson College."

"Britni was the most informative instructor I have ever had. Spot on with every word -- no, I am not exaggerating -- being useable information. Every question was succinctly answered. Class timing was perfect. And she seemed to do a great job addressing everyone's varied places on the spectrum of essay writing and what they personally wanted to accomplish. If there were a 10, she'd have mine!"

"The seminar was well-organized, and followed a very well-thought-out progression to help make things understandable. The instructor answered questions very clearly. It was truly amazing- I had absolutely no notion of the amount of work that goes into trying to publish essays! I learned so much."

ONLINE, GrubStreet
Six weeks beginning April 17, 2019


Write Down The Street: Writing From Memory

The stories we tell about who we are begin with our memories. But those memories are often imperfect: distorted by time or missing pieces of the story. You can use your memory to start a piece of fiction you want to write, or to tell your own story in memoir writing. In this four-week workshop, you'll learn tricks and techniques to help you use your memories to shape your writing. We'll talk about how to responsibly "fill in the blank" when there are gaps in your memory, look at examples of people writing from memory, and share your work at the end.

Families welcome. Coffee and snacks provided. Teens are welcome to attend with an older relative. We will provide simple activities to keep young children occupied.

Who Should Register?

Write Down the Street has a special focus on making the creative writing workshop more accessible to those who face challenges due to cost, language skills, lack of access to transportation, and other barriers. We believe that all voices must be spotlighted with the range and fullness they deserve.

These programs are offered tuition-free thanks to the support of generous donors who are committed to our mission of ensuring all voices are heard.

Mattapan Branch of the Boston Public Library, Boston, MA
4 Thursdays, 5:45 PM-7:45 PM
Beginning April 25, 2019


How To Place Essays in Mainstream Publications: A Business of Writing Workshop

One of the surest ways to get noticed as a writer is to publish work in mainstream venues. But pitching personal essays to newspapers and print or online magazines is a skill that comes with its own rules. This class will teach writers how to pitch essays, target markets, and adapt their work to appeal to mainstream audiences. Participants will examine and break down published work, and by the end of the class, they will be able to identify the parts and structure of what makes an essay appealing to a general readership publication. Attendees will have the opportunity to work on one or two sample pitches, so should bring a few ideas that they are hoping to write or place. Participants will leave the class with handouts for reference, a cohesive list of potential markets, and the confidence to go home and dive right in.


"Britni’s experiences as a successful writer gave credibility to the techniques and various approaches covered. She stuck to the syllabus awhile being responsive to questions and comments in a friendly, non-judgmental way. This class was time well spent and exactly as advertised."

"Britni was relatable, reachable, informed, smart, interesting, generous in sharing her extensive knowledge and enthusiasms and encouragement. A total 10!"

Britni was VERY knowledgable, yet had a presentation style that was relaxed and accessible. She provided examples, hand-outs, resources, and answered all of our questions. In providing examples of her own work (in this case, related to pitching personal essays to magazines), she shared with us real-life examples and helped us realize the humanity at the heart of the process.”

Belfast Free Library, Belfast, ME
Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance
Saturday, May 18, 2019
10:30 AM-4:30 PM


Master Non-Fiction: Personal Essay

In this advanced course, experienced students working on narrative personal essays will receive support, guidance, and feedback. We'll discuss elements of craft at a high level; try new forms, techniques, voices, and structures; and develop strategies for revision. Prompts, exercises, readings by exemplary authors, and discussion will help you see your own narrative personal essays with fresh eyes.

We’ll cover submitting your essays for publication and working with editors, and a professional writer or editor will visit the class to answer questions about the writing, submitting, and editorial process. By the end of the course, you’ll have submitted work to the class for critique four times (one piece should be a revision of a previously workshopped essay), and you’ll have fine-tuned at least one essay for submission to publications. Students will be given responsibility to help shape the class, decide what topics the workshop will focus on, and will at times be asked to make short presentations. Space is limited to 9 students to foster a closer and more rigorous learning experience. Only experienced essay writers who have taken previous narrative nonfiction workshops at GrubStreet or elsewhere should apply. 

GrubStreet, Boston, MA
10 Wednesdays, 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Beginning June 5, 2019