Writing a Personal History With Hadley Meares and Jessica Leigh Hester - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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Writing a Personal History With Hadley Meares and Jessica Leigh Hester

$158 per person Online Experience
4 sessions
Up to 20 people
See Dates
$158 per person
$158 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this four-part workshop, research and write your own historical essay through a personal lens.

Course Description

Have you ever wanted to write a history of personal interest in an Atlas Obscura essay–type format, but didn’t know where to begin? Perhaps you’ve always wondered about the deeper story behind an old family recipe, a run-down building on your block, or a specific moment in time. This four-part online writing workshop with Hadley Meares, a historical journalist, and Jessica Leigh Hester, a senior editor and writer at Atlas Obscura, will equip you with the tools you’ll need to start writing.

Over the course of four sessions, you’ll learn how to begin your quest, conduct research, and shape your original project. Along the way, you’ll participate in group exercises and get personalized feedback from Hadley, Jessica, and your fellow participants. By the end of the course, you’ll be well on your way to writing a compelling, nonfiction history that is personal to you and your interests.

Syllabus at a Glance

There are four total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 1.5 hours on four consecutive Saturdays.

Section A: Meets Saturdays beginning January 9

Session 1 (Saturday, 1/9/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET): Finding your voice and your inspiration

Session 2 (Saturday, 1/16/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET): Research methodologies from home

Session 3 (Saturday, 1/23/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET):?Essay format and shaping your narrative

Session 4 (Saturday, 1/30/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET): Story sharing and feedback

Section B: Meets Saturdays beginning February 20

Session 1 (Saturday, 2/20/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET): Finding your voice and your inspiration

Session 2 (Saturday, 2/27/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET): Research methodologies from home

Session 3 (Saturday, 3/6/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET):?Essay format and shaping your narrative

Session 4 (Saturday, 3/13/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET): Story sharing and feedback

Section C: Meets Saturdays beginning February March 27

Session 1 (Saturday, 3/27/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET): Finding your voice and your inspiration

Session 2 (Saturday, 4/3/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET): Research methodologies from home

Session 3 (Saturday, 4/10/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET):?Essay format and shaping your narrative

Session 4 (Saturday, 4/17/2021, 3–4:30 PM ET): Story sharing and feedback

Between Sessions

Students will be given optional assignments to complete between sessions, including brief writing prompts and exercises crafted to help aid in research and writing. You can spend as much or as little time on assignments as you'd like—this class is what you make of it!

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 20 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed a time that works for you for up to one week after they’ve aired.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.monstrack.com/online-courses.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the each class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.?

About Your Instructor
Hadley Meares and Jessica Leigh Hester
Hadley Meares and Jessica Leigh Hester

Hadley Meares is an LA-based historical journalist, tour leader, talking head, and the host of the history podcast Underbelly LA. She is a frequent contributor to Vanity Fair, The Hollywood Reporter, Curbed, HISTORY, LAist, Los Angeles Magazine and Atlas Obscura, among other outlets.

Jessica Leigh Hester is a senior editor and writer at Atlas Obscura, mainly covering science. Before she geeked out about fatbergs and microplastics, she wrote or edited for The Atlantic, CityLab, New Yorker, New York Times, and more, and received her MFA in creative writing from Hunter College.

What Else You Should Know

This is an interactive, small-group, seminar-style course that meets over Zoom. Students may be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.

In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.

Group Size

There are 20 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability
You'll be redirected to our external ticketing provider after selecting your experience date.
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