In this four-part workshop, research and write your own historical essay through a personal lens.
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 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
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.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.
For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.
Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.
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.
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.
There are 25 spots available on this experience.
Sat, Mar 27, 20213:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.$200