You actually can change the direction of your life by writing it.

Steve Friedman’s Workshop on the Art of the Personal Essay: Divorce, Breakups and Beginnings


The ability to let go of the simple narratives about our lives, and give ourselves the freedom to explore complexity, has a huge impact on how we shape our future.  Whether you dream of being published or just want to find your way out of the forest of grief, this workshop is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl finds better boy and ultimate riches and happiness as a fly-fishing instructor in Montana.

We’re not ones to quibble with happy endings, but they are rarely so simple or straightforward as the conventional narrative suggests. Reality is messier, more complicated, more nuanced. It’s not one but a number of realities, each hard to grasp in its own way, each excruciating in its own manner, each moving toward its own singular resolution.

If you’re like most people, you’ve been telling yourself a particular story for a long time, without recognizing the elements of the story–or even that it’s a story at all.

In three intensive sessions over the course of the weekend, this workshop will provide you an opportunity to examine the truth – both literal and emotional – of your story and to convey it in a compelling way. Publication is not the primary goal, but it will be discussed, encouraged, and hopefully achieved for those who are interested.

This weekend includes:

• Lessons on the craft of the personal essay
• Assigned readings
• Talks and discussion with guest speakers.
• Group discussion and feedback on your work
• Three delicious home cooked meals (dinner and two lunches)


Friday, May 19th, 6-9pm (includes dinner)
Saturday May 20th, 10am-4pm (includes lunch)
Sunday, May 21st, 10am-4pm (includes lunch)

*New* Final Session, Date TBD (weekend of June 3rd)
Brooklyn Heights





Read words from previous attendees here

It really did change my perspective on life. I was feeling helpless and paralyzed waiting for this divorce, and the workshop helped me see it's my story, my life, and I don't need to waste another moment of it on my ex.
Domenica D.
I greatly appreciated the powerful weekend spent with all of you. The lessons, the honesty (even when it was uncomfortable), and the judgment-free environment have left a lasting impact on me.
Tracie R.
There were very rich stories to tell and such power in supporting and nurturing one another. So Inspiring. Thank you, Steve, for teaching us about how to focus on the story we want to tell. You brought us such wonderful intellectual food.
Anne S.
Thanks to all for an incredible weekend. Elise, for opening your home and feeding us. Steve, for keeping us upright on the life raft. And to everyone for being so honest and nurturing and supportive of each other on what often feels like a painful journey of discovery. Writing is hard!!! But we’re doing it.
Anna M.
I am so moved by our weekend!! Something magical happened with us all together.
Thank you all for helping me to find my story and reclaim it from my ex. I’ve wanted to arrive here for quite some time and when he dropped the kids off with me tonight I felt different; not angry and disgusted! A miracle.
Domenica D.
I was really afraid of what I was getting myself into with this class - but it was just what I needed to be doing right now. I felt so much support and compassion from the group and I was moved by the stories of resilience. I can’t thank you enough and I have learned so much from you.
Lucia R.
Six months ago, I revisited the essay I started in Steve’s workshop and realized how angry I was, not only with my ex, but with myself as well. I began therapy, journaling and sharing my story which I was no longer ashamed to tell. The strength to share my story began with this group and I want to say thank you. I am in a happy and healthy relationship and received a promotion at work in September!
Tracie R.
This weekend delivered so much more than I could ever have expected. Steve's teaching structure, feedback, and flexibility created a balance that allowed us to reach in deep. For that I am so very grateful. And to Elise, Thank you. For all of the obvious and not so obvious. From the moment I walked into your home, I did not want to leave. I cannot recall a time when a parade of so many yummy dishes were set out in front of me. Mama felt so special.
What a magical weekend! And what a beautiful group of women. A 'Breakfast Club' in composite, creating and audience, a safe circle with similar circumstance, but each with a different tale. All day I've been processing my story. I want to thank the entire group for helping me get there - and really finding my story.
Nadine P.