In this four-part workshop, learn to write your own historical essay through a research-based lens.
Have you ever wanted to write a history of personal interest in a 1200-word, 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 historical journalist Hadley Meares will equip you with the tools you’ll need to start researching and 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 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
This course includes four total sessions, each lasting for 1.5 hours with a week between each session.
Summer Section C: Meets Saturdays beginning September 17.
Session 1 (Saturday, 9/17, 3–4:30 PM ET): Finding your voice and your inspiration
Session 2 (Saturday, 9/24, 3–4:30 PM ET): Research methodologies from home
Session 3 (Saturday, 10/1, 3–4:30 PM ET): Essay format and shaping your narrative
Session 4 (Saturday, 10/8, 3–4:30 ET): Story sharing and feedback
Fall Section A: Meets Sundays beginning October 16, skipping October 30.
Session 1 (Sunday, 10/16, 3–4:30 PM ET): Finding your voice and your inspiration
Session 2 (Sunday, 10/23, 3–4:30 PM ET): Research methodologies from home
Session 3 (Sunday, 11/6, 3–4:30 PM ET): Essay format and shaping your narrative
Session 4 (Saturday, 11/13, 3–4:30 ET): Story sharing and feedback
Fall Section B: Meets Wednesday November 16 , skipping November 23.
Session 1 (Wednesday, 11/16, 8–9:30 PM ET): Finding your voice and your inspiration
Session 2 (Wednesday, 11/30, 8–9:30 PM ET): Research methodologies from home
Session 3 (Wednesday, 12/7, 8–9:30 PM ET): Essay format and shaping your narrative
Session 4 (Wednesday, 12/14, 8–9:30 PM ET): Story sharing and feedback
Fall Section C: Meets Sundays beginning December 11, skipping December 25 and January 1.
Session 1 (Sunday, 12/11/2022, 3–4:30 PM ET): Finding your voice and your inspiration
Session 2 (Sunday, 12/18/2022, 3–4:30 PM ET): Research methodologies from home
-two weeks off-
Session 3 (Sunday, 1/8/2023, 3–4:30 PM ET): Essay format and shaping your narrative
Session 4 (Saturday, 1/15/2023, 3–4:30 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!
In addition to full-price tickets, a limited number of no-pay spots are available for this course. Please note that these tickets are reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course and who expect to attend all sessions. No-pay spots are distributed via a randomized drawing two weeks before each course begins. For more information and to apply for a no-pay spot, please click here. To learn more about our pricing model and randomized selection process for no-pay spots, please visit our FAQ page.
Community Guidelines for Students
Please take a moment to review our community guidelines for students, which aim to share our classroom ethos and help set the stage for the best possible learning experience.
Atlas Obscura Online Courses
Atlas Obscura Courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. 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.
Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive community-driven guide to incredible places across the planet and is now an award-winning company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online.
Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to each class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access all sessions of your course via Zoom.
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.
This is an interactive, small-group seminar that meets over Zoom. Students may be encouraged to participate in discussions, work on assignments outside of class, and workshop projects with their instructor or classmates. Due to the interactive nature of this course, we strongly recommend students attend as many live sessions as possible. Within 72 hours after each session meets, students will receive access to a recording of the live session, which they can watch for up to two weeks after the course concludes.
Instructors may use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors may use this platform to post resources, discussion questions, or assignments. This platform also offers a space for students to connect with one another about course material between sessions.
We provide closed captioning for all of our courses and can share transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, requests, or accessibility needs.
There are 30 spots available on this experience.
Sun, Oct 16, 20223:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.$195
Wed, Nov 16, 20228:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m.$195
Sun, Dec 11, 20223:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.$195