Instructor: Devi Asmarani

What is an essay? Depending on whom you ask, the answer can take you to many different directions. An essay may come in the form of a starchy scholarly work, or a condense, issue-based op-ed piece, or an informal personal reflection column. From David Hume’s philosophical discourses, Virginia Woolf’s literary criticism, Christopher Hitchens’ anti-religion commentaries, David Sedaris’ satirical pieces, to the lovely and moving prose of The New York Times’ “Modern Love” series.

Leading essayist Aldous Huxley said that “the essay is a literary device for saying almost everything about almost anything,” and “by tradition, almost by definition, the essay is a short piece.”

This course is designed for beginning to moderately experienced writers to learn a more skillful, engaging and captivating way of writing an essay, particularly the narrative essay. At the end of the course, participants will have learned the technique of writing narrative essays using various time-tested tools, be able to recognize well-written essays, and become familiar with the elements that make them good. The participants will also be able to give constructive feedbacks both written and in the in-class discussions to their peers (as well as receiving them graciously). And they will learn the techniques to edit, revise and polish their work.

The main objectives of the course are:

  1. Learning the basic elements of writing a narrative essay
  2. Learning to read like writers
  3. Understanding and putting into practice the philosophy and techniques learned during the course of the workshop
  4. Producing the first draft of a narrative essay and turning in the revised version after the work has been workshopped

Workshop method: The course will combine lectures, reading assignments and discussions, in-class exercises, take-home assignments, response writings, and a complete first draft of an essay for the final project as well as its revised version. The instructor will assist the participants through the writing process and will lead discussions throughout the course.

Assignments: This will not be one of those classes that you can just breeze in without doing any assignment or without participating in the discussion. You won’t learn anything if you don’t commit to the writing exercises and the reading assignment. You must be prepared for class, engaging freely and openly in the discussion, and participating in the exercises assigned, both in and out of class. Please complete your assignments on time.

Assignments include:

  1. Reading materials for in-class discussion
  2. Writing exercises in class: These are usually short assignments that take about 20 minutes to do
  3. Writing assignments at home: These are typically 1-2-page long single space assignments focusing on a certain technique
  4. Respond in writing and in discussion to workshop submissions of fellow students
  5. Produce the first draft of a complete essay to be workshopped in class. Please note that this must be a completely new work, not something you have finished or something you were working on before this course began.
  6. Turning in the revised version of your work on the last day. Those whose works are being workshopped on the last day will have a week to turn in their revised work to the instructor.
  7. Keep a writer’s journal, if you’re not already doing so. (This is for your own benefit)

Final Project

At the end of the workshop, you are asked to produce one essay that is ready for publication. 

Perks: 10% discount for all university students. Alternative payment plans available. If you are a university student or require a payment plan, leave us a note in the comment area.

Investment value: IDR 5,500,000 (incl. tax)

Sign up below or leave a query here.

Available workshop dates:

‡ April 9 – May 14 (Sundays 2pm – 6pm)