Understory in Personal Essay

Successful personal essays transform lived experiences into literature. One way to achieve this is through deliberate structure choices, such as the use of understory—the emotional undercurrent, or arc, that propels an essay forward. In this one-night class, we will read several short-form published works, identify how authors use understory to establish emotional investment with readers, and discuss why these choices are integral to the most compelling personal essays.

This workshop will meet virtually on Monday, January 10th from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Speaker: Jennifer Hope Choi

Speaker Bio: Jennifer Hope Choi is the recipient of the 2020-2022 Tulsa Artist Fellowship, the Carson McCullers Center’s Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship, the BuzzFeed Emerging Writer Fellowship, and the AHL Foundation’s Art Writers Grant. She is also a Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conference scholar and an Aspen Words fellow. She has been anthologized in Best American Travel Writing and A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, Guernica, The American Scholar, Bon Appétit, Lucky Peach, BuzzFeed Reader, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a memoir.

Registration will close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 6th.