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September Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 20, No. 9 September 2020
© 2020 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

* Carol's Comments
*Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Writing Quote
*"Personal Essay and School"
* Course Offerings
*Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* Markets
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It's another Labor Day in the US. While that sounds like a day for work it's really a rest from work. Except this year many people have been off work for months. During that time we've had extra time for ourselves. I can't say I've always spent that time well. Let's take stock of how we're faring. What have you done that's different from your normal routine?

Some people liked the break at the beginning, for a while. But it grows old, doesn't it. I rekindled my slide scanning project, for a while, then let more time pass between scanning sessions. I have this newsletter once a month and I give classes as needed. But I’m not as active as I used to be and I feel like my “new normal” is not what I need. How about you?

One way to spend this time productively is to crank up our writing. Expressing our feelings about the virus threat. Are you worried about you, or someone close to you, getting it? Do you think you're invincible? Are you struggling to remain sane? We all have stories about this time, but other things are happening around us and in our lives. Let's not get so hung up on the virus threat that we neglect the other aspects of life that need addressing. We always have plenty to write about. '

Please wear a mask in public, keep a good distance from others and wash those hands. And still make time to...
Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect.
Carol Celeste
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Therapeutic Writing Fact
From: The Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies ISSN: 1174-4707 Volume : 2002-1 "Health benefits of the disclosure of emotions about traumatic experiences: What is the evidence and potential for therapeutic benefits?" by Christine Stephens, PhD. "Several studies, both correlational and experimental, have shown that the inhibition of traumatic experiences is detrimental to health and that talking or writing about a trauma has positive effects on psychological and physical health."
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Writing Quote"Writing is the only place I can be myself and not feel judged." Terry McMillan, Waiting to Exhale
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All courses are conducted by email and begin every Friday. Compare the prices to other online personal essay courses and you'll realize the value offered. Meidabistro=$499, Gotham Writers Workshop=$395,$295 and up, Truby's=$449 to name a few. Don't wait another day. To register now or order a course as a gift visit Writing Courses.
These courses are now offered:
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ARTICLE - "Personal Essay and School"
These newsletters have discussed various reasons to write personal essays over time but one reason I haven't addressed here is in a different category than the others. Writing our personal stories offers many benefits.

The practice improves health, both physical and emotional. Hundreds of trials have shown that people with a wide range of medical problems and anxiety caused by non-medical circumstances (such as financial woes, relationship conflicts, struggles to quit bad habits, etc.) feel better when they practice what experts call expressive writing. Of course, all writing expresses something. The clinical term applies to writing about personal situations usually, but not necessarily, unpleasant ones, with honesty and thoroughly.

The type of essay that differs from those is the critical personal essay required of college applicants. When college officials decide who will join the new class, one required document along with academic transcripts and extra curricular activity records is a personal essay. Total honesty and thoroughness in these essays often do not serve students well. That does not mean that fabrications are allowed, certainly not. But the truthful content needs to be different than in a typical essay. Non-students wishing to publish their lifewriting might benefit from the school essay model.

Be mindful of readers and what they expect. At a time like this with a major issue facing everyone, that would be COVID-19, students might be tempted to include their reaction to the times. But everyone, including the officials who will decide the entry fate of applicants, has a COVID story. Advisors say it may be wise for students to not compete with their judges' stories. The same is true of standard personal essays. If publication is your goal, frame your stories with potential readers in mind. You probably don't want to share everything that you need to include in work for just yourself in work intended for publication. If you know students dealing with this dilemma, advise them to stick to their unique accomplishments and abilities.

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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.
What would you change about your current circumstances if you could be/do anything you want?
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We all have pandemic stories. If you want to share yours, here are some publications looking for pandemic stories for you to check.

Writers Digest Personal Essay Contest,the first ever, has an early bird fee of $25 by September 15. Final deadline with $30 fee is October 15. Generous prizes of $2,500, $1,000, $500 for top three, four - ten $100 and gift cards of $50 for 11 - 25. Strict word max is 2,000. Winning entry will be published in the magazine and writer wins trip to the Writers Digest Conference. Prepare your best work and see more details at Writers Digest Contest.

Annual Memoirs Contest from The Writers’ Workshop of Asheville NC judges memoirs of 5,000 words max. Entry Fee $25, deadline November 30. All entries receive feedback. Open to writers regardless of residence. See submission information at Annual Memoirs Contest.

War Cry magazine from the Salvation Army seeks submissions that address contemporary topics and concerns in ways that inspire people to grow in faith, including personal witnessing. Send 60 days before date of theme. November’s theme is Suffering. Pays $.35 per word for first rights on acceptance. Check on the details at War Cry.

Share personal essay markets you know about. Email them to and I'll add them to the website list.
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