Shaping an Essay Collection

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Ellena Savage
18 May 2019 - 10:00 to 4:00 PM
Ellena Savage
Early, Emerging
Essayists are notorious magpies. We collect facts, anecdotes, theories, speculations, fantasies, and desires, finding our materials everywhere from textbooks to train rides. Given the vast and diverse terrain essayists move through, often within a single short piece of writing, how can we to shape the ‘messy everything’ into a collection that in some way coheres?

While there are no concrete solutions—the essay spills out, it resists simple reductions, and this is why we practice it—in this workshop, students will study some tried and tested approaches to shaping an essay collection. Bring along your unfinished manuscripts, essays you think might be the beginning of a collection, or even your rough notes on what your future essay collection might be, and we will work these into a plan for you to develop and finish your essay collection.

Bring along your essay collections-in-progress, notes for further development, or essays you think might mark the beginning of a collection.

Students will be provided with relevant reading materials in class.

You will learn: 

  • How to identify the key themes of your collection-in-development;
  • How to how to build on these key themes in fresh and original ways;
  • How to adapt essays written for publication to a collection;
  • How to make difficult editing decisions;
  • How to develop a plan to develop and finish your essay collection

About Ellena Savage

Ellena Savage’s debut essay collection Blueberries is forthcoming with Text Publishing and Scribe UK. Over the past decade, Ellena has worked extensively with emerging essayists: as a teacher (at RMIT and the University of Melbourne), an editor (The Lifted Brow, Spook), and as a curator of literary events (Synthetic Heat Reading Series). Ellena’s work has been published widely in literary journals including The Paris Review Daily, Literary Hub, Cosmonaut’s Avenue, Meanjin, Overland, Kill Your Darlings, TEXT Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, and Eureka Street, where she wrote a column between 2011-2016. While in development, Blueberries was short- and longlisted for: the Penguin Random House Australia Literary Prize, the Scribe Nonfiction Prize, the Kill Your Darlings Unpublished Manuscript Prize, and the Richell Prize.

Event registration fee
Concession member $ 135.00
Member $ 145.00
Non-member $ 195.00

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