Masterclass: Pushing the Limits of the Essay

Masterclass: Pushing the Limits of the Essay

Taking creative risks
  • Thea Lenarduzzi headshot
    Thea Lenarduzzi
Date Tuesday February 27th 2024, 19:00-21:00 GMT
Location Online

What is an essay and why write one? Are there rules about what it can do or limits as to what it can contain? What happens if we push these to breaking point? The essay is as old as writing itself and, perhaps because it has always been considered a lesser form compared to, say, epics of fiction or supposedly objective historical chronicles, it has always been something of a shapeshifter. All we really have by way of definition is that ‘essay’ means ‘attempt’, to try something out.

Taking its lead from there, in this two-hour masterclass the essayist, memoirist and critic Thea Lenarduzzi will guide you through this most liberated and liberating of forms, exploring aspects including voice, tone, genre and structure, and encouraging you to take risks in your writing. Brief writing exercises and short excerpts from the work of influential essayists will help to get the wheels turning, and who knows where your next ‘attempt’ will lead?

The Masterclass will be delivered via Zoom webinar, so you can take the session at your own pace, without the pressure of having your video or camera on. Sessions are also recorded so if you are unable to attend live, you will have access to the recording for a month afterwards.

Online: £40

Concessions: £20

As part of our effort to increase participation in the arts, half-price concessions are available for this course at checkout. There are a limited number of free subsidised places for those who cannot afford the concession price.

We are committed to making our Arvon at Home programme accessible to as many people as possible.

Across all of Arvon at Home


Online Writing Day

How I Write

Online Writing Weeks / Weekends

Subject to funding/permissions (please contact for more details)

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See here for more access information.

"These zoom opportunities are really helping to open my world and keep me inspired to write."
— Masterclass participant
"Arvon at Home creates a model to participate in inspirational tutoring for writers, at a distance. The feeling of attending to my writing life in an excellent fashion, and still having a half-day for my work and caring responsibilities at home, felt like a good balance."
— Masterclass participant
"It was an absolutely brilliant session and very very useful. And it made me realise how much I’ve missed this kind of workshop because of having children and family that I can’t leave. Now we’re all in the same boat the online stuff is truly transformative."
— Masterclass participant



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