Upcoming online courses


*Max 4 participants + 1 instructor
*4 90-minute Sunday sessions: December 20 and 27 + January 3 and 10
*Meeting time + platform: 9pm GMT+1 (Rome) on Zoom
*Cost: 160€ or USD $185
*Registration deadline: December 4


A long tradition of belittling the personal essay persists among Serious Literary Types (SLTs). Many can’t agree on the definition of the form. And thank goodness for that! Imagined blueprints and intimidating rules never helped any would-be writer pick up a pen.

In this globally dreary time, this course will celebrate the flexibility and playfulness that first-person writing affords us. Let’s not allow salty SLTs to equate personal essays with diary entries: good first-person writing requires much more craft than catharsis.

In six hours of class time, spread over four holiday-season Sundays, you’ll mine your memories for stories, add techniques to your developing-a-narrative toolkit, begin or continue the neverending work of owning your voice, and kill all your darlings (but save them in a Dropbox doc for future revival). You’ll finish the course with a polished first-person piece of roughly 1000 words, and will receive appropriate guidance in possible avenues to publication.


Q: Do I need to be in Italy/your time zone to participate?
A: Absolutely not! The course is open to all English speakers, regardless of location.

Q: #CovidTimes are unpredictable! If I have to miss a session or withdraw, can I get a refund?
A: No refunds are offered, but you’ll retain access to a shared course folder and recordings of each meeting.

Q: Will there be “homework?”
A: Beyond working on your own writing and occasionally reviewing your peers’ pieces, no. But “artistic recs” (translation: gobs of articles that you may or may not get around to reading) are one of my love languages.

Q: Okay, but what if the group is awful?
A: It’s fine if it crossed your mind, but this is an impossible scenario. People who voluntarily sign up for writing classes are always interesting.

Q: What if *you’re* awful?
A: I’m a blonde Libra from the Hospitality State who lives in Italy, so I like to think I’m fun!

Q: I’d like to work with you, but personal essays aren’t my bag/I have something else I need help with/group Zooms give me cold sweats/I can’t commit to four Sundays/etc…
A: I’m offering one-on-one sessions, too, priced according to your needs! Email me at verymarygray@gmail.com for a free quote or to ask anything you don’t see answered here.

Pay in euro


Pay in USD


*P. IVA 06934740488