Creative Writing: Using Your Mistakes to Power Your Personal Essays

Emily Gould, Writer

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8 Videos (48m)
    • Introduction

    • Your Assignment: Write a Personal Essay

    • "The Best Time I (Maybe) Got Rabies"

    • "The Last Photograph of Cat"

    • "Our Graffiti"

    • Writing: Tips for Beginners & Pros

    • Quick-and-Dirty Editing

    • Closing Thoughts & Publishing Advice


About This Class

Ever had a story you couldn't wait to share? Join author Emily Gould to learn how to write a personal essay that gets read. This 45-minute class shares Emily's favorite writing prompt, explores 3 favorite essays for strategies you can (safely) steal, and offers quick-and-dirty editing tips for improving your writing at every stage.

Plus, the project gallery offers you the opportunity to post your own essay, exchange feedback, and get a piece ready for publication. This class is perfect for writers who are newer to the personal essay, experienced writers who want to try new approaches and reach more readers, and everyone who wants to refine their personal written voice.

63 of 71 students recommendSee All

Thank you Emily
Thank you for the class. I found the tips very helpful, especially the part about avoiding adverbs. It is a relief to hear you say that. I also took your advice and changed a phrase in a piece I had written where I removed "in fact" and shortened the sentence, which made it sound definitely better.





Emily Gould


Emily Gould is an American author, co-owner of the indie bookstore Emily Books, and former editor of

Her essay collection And the Heart Says Whatever was published by Free Press in May 2010, and her novel Friendship was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2014.

She blogs at and You can also follower her on Twitter at @EmilyGould and @emilybooks.