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Writing and Publishing Personal Essays

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The growing popularity of the personal essay is not difficult to explain. The personal essay is short, easy to read, and poignant. It permits experienced and beginning writers alike to develop manuscripts and get them published in a timely manner. And the personal essay is ennobling; it affirms the universal humanity in the large and small details of the writer's life. In The growing popularity of the personal essay is not difficult to explain. The personal essay is short, easy to read, and poignant. It permits experienced and beginning writers alike to develop manuscripts and get them published in a timely manner. And the personal essay is ennobling; it affirms the universal humanity in the large and small details of the writer's life. In Writing and Publishing Personal Essays, Sheila Bender shares her tested and proven techniques for developing personal essays. She discusses eight different types of essays and offers step-by-step instructions for writing each.She demonstrates her effective Three-Step Response Method for obtaining meaningful and useful feedback from readers and includes essays written by students and professionals to illustrate the different types of essays. She devotes a special chapter to suggestions and resources for editing riting well and getting published. This is an important book. Brenda Miller, author of Season of the Body: Essays and Tell It Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction, says Sheila Bender is an extraordinary teacher in person and on the page. In Writing and Publishing Personal Essays, her enthusiasm, her wit, and her expertise provide us with exciting ways to approach the art of creative nonfiction. This book is chock full of useful instructions and prompts that will keep you writing a long time. In Writing and Publishing Personal Essays, Sheila Bender's adds numerous new essay examples and updated publishing and editing information to the content of her important, previously published book, Writing Personal Essays: How to Shape Your Life Experiences for the Page ( Writer's Digest Books, 1995). Sheila isthe author of eleven other books and of essays that have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.


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The growing popularity of the personal essay is not difficult to explain. The personal essay is short, easy to read, and poignant. It permits experienced and beginning writers alike to develop manuscripts and get them published in a timely manner. And the personal essay is ennobling; it affirms the universal humanity in the large and small details of the writer's life. In The growing popularity of the personal essay is not difficult to explain. The personal essay is short, easy to read, and poignant. It permits experienced and beginning writers alike to develop manuscripts and get them published in a timely manner. And the personal essay is ennobling; it affirms the universal humanity in the large and small details of the writer's life. In Writing and Publishing Personal Essays, Sheila Bender shares her tested and proven techniques for developing personal essays. She discusses eight different types of essays and offers step-by-step instructions for writing each.She demonstrates her effective Three-Step Response Method for obtaining meaningful and useful feedback from readers and includes essays written by students and professionals to illustrate the different types of essays. She devotes a special chapter to suggestions and resources for editing riting well and getting published. This is an important book. Brenda Miller, author of Season of the Body: Essays and Tell It Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction, says Sheila Bender is an extraordinary teacher in person and on the page. In Writing and Publishing Personal Essays, her enthusiasm, her wit, and her expertise provide us with exciting ways to approach the art of creative nonfiction. This book is chock full of useful instructions and prompts that will keep you writing a long time. In Writing and Publishing Personal Essays, Sheila Bender's adds numerous new essay examples and updated publishing and editing information to the content of her important, previously published book, Writing Personal Essays: How to Shape Your Life Experiences for the Page ( Writer's Digest Books, 1995). Sheila isthe author of eleven other books and of essays that have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.

30 review for Writing and Publishing Personal Essays

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Having enjoyed Bender’s classes, I had to buy this book. It’s a little too basic for experienced writers, but writers just starting out will find a lot to work with here. Bender goes through eight different types of essays—description, cause and effect, compare and contrast, etc.--and shows how to shape them into person experience pieces. She offers suggestions for brainstorming ideas and focusing them on the page. The chapters include marvelous sample essays and step by step instructions on how Having enjoyed Bender’s classes, I had to buy this book. It’s a little too basic for experienced writers, but writers just starting out will find a lot to work with here. Bender goes through eight different types of essays—description, cause and effect, compare and contrast, etc.--and shows how to shape them into person experience pieces. She offers suggestions for brainstorming ideas and focusing them on the page. The chapters include marvelous sample essays and step by step instructions on how to write and revise your own. These are followed by a section on marketing, another on critiques, and an extensive resource list for writers. Some of this is out of date; technology has changed so drastically in the last 12 years that no print book can keep up, but this book is definitely worth a read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Great as self-assignment exercises Many types of essays are discussed, along with guidance on getting started. Some good methods here that I'm sure I can turn to if I get stuck while writing. Great as self-assignment exercises Many types of essays are discussed, along with guidance on getting started. Some good methods here that I'm sure I can turn to if I get stuck while writing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I'll have to read this book again to see whether I missed something on my first go-through. But, so far, this book is a disappointment. I am a big fan of personal essays, and I was hoping that this book would give me a few short cuts (or at least a road map) on writing them. No such luck. The book is mostly the worn-over writing advice that one can find anywhere. Worse, however, are the examples that the author includes. She uses several of her student's essays as examples of her lessons. Unfortu I'll have to read this book again to see whether I missed something on my first go-through. But, so far, this book is a disappointment. I am a big fan of personal essays, and I was hoping that this book would give me a few short cuts (or at least a road map) on writing them. No such luck. The book is mostly the worn-over writing advice that one can find anywhere. Worse, however, are the examples that the author includes. She uses several of her student's essays as examples of her lessons. Unfortunately, most of these examples are horrible. They are full of navel-gazing purple prose. Many of them read like they were written by a self-absorbed 12-year old describing what she did on her summer vacation. I have a hard time imagining any of these essays being published in anything resembling a reputable publication. If this is the best her students can do, then we have to suspect the qualifications of the teacher. But, like I said, I'll give it another try. Maybe I was in a bad mood the firt time through. Also, I have a preference (bias?) toward a more minimilast-sounding prose. I may be more sensitive to (annoyed by) the adjective-laden discussions of all matters emotional than other readers may be.

  4. 4 out of 5

    denise kay jacobs

    Writing and Publishing Personal Essays focuses on the art of the personal essay in various traditional forms or styles such as description, how-to, compare & contrast, etc. It seems to me that much of life writing is focused on retrieving memories and getting the story down. Organization is not necessarily the first thought. Eventually, however, form has to be considered. Bender approaches structure, organization, and form from the perspective of improving our writing and making discoveries abou Writing and Publishing Personal Essays focuses on the art of the personal essay in various traditional forms or styles such as description, how-to, compare & contrast, etc. It seems to me that much of life writing is focused on retrieving memories and getting the story down. Organization is not necessarily the first thought. Eventually, however, form has to be considered. Bender approaches structure, organization, and form from the perspective of improving our writing and making discoveries about ourselves. So, a person could take an essay they've written and experiment with form based on Bender's various chapters. For this reason, I think the book is helpful to new writers and those teaching writing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Terry Persun

    A writing book. So, I'm taking it slowly, as I like to apply the ideas to my own work. Sheila is a great writer and teacher. I loved this book. A writing book. So, I'm taking it slowly, as I like to apply the ideas to my own work. Sheila is a great writer and teacher. I loved this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amber Ziegler

    Decent. I really liked that she included example essays (from herself and other writers) to show all the different takes on the genre.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Larry Dunlap

    Interesting, some parts helpful. Had a specific reason for reading this, probably didn't answer the specific question I need but I found other helpful tools for something I've never tried before. Interesting, some parts helpful. Had a specific reason for reading this, probably didn't answer the specific question I need but I found other helpful tools for something I've never tried before.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Greuter

  9. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Collins

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Lippincott

  11. 4 out of 5

    Terilee

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roxane

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Vugt

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  15. 5 out of 5

    Linda Brighton

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Steve Gavin

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Patterson

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tejas Janet

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carmen Turner

  21. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Johansson

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mary O'gara

  23. 4 out of 5

    Megs Thompson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth Kinsey

    Great for mapping out creative nonfiction essays.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Johnson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn Brown

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nupur Gupta

  29. 4 out of 5

    Becky

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thea Nicholas

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