How to Write and Sell a Personal Essay


IN-PERSON EVENT AT ZIBBY'S BOOKSHOP - Wednesday, January 17, 2024 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (PT).  Do you have a personal story you could summarize in one sentence about overcoming a challenge, learning a valuable lesson, or surviving an embarrassing situation? Is there something about your family, your relationship, or a friendship that is uniquely challenging for you? Is there a story you’ve never told because you’re embarrassed, or worried it makes you look bad? Is there something you’re going through right now that you wish others had written about because you could use the guidance? These are the kinds of stories you'll discuss in comedy writer Cindy Chupack's two-hour workshop designed to help you find and craft a personal essay that you can submit to a newspaper, magazine, or website. We’ll talk about what makes a great essay, how to decide where to submit it, and where to find submission guidelines. There is nothing like a piece written in your own voice to help you find your voice as a writer, and Cindy Chupack believes (and is proof!) that a personal essay can be the spark that ignites your memoir, novel, one-person show, screenplay, or TV career.

Class Details

Cost: $89.00

Format: In person

Location: Zibby's Bookshop is located at 1113 Montana Ave in Santa Monica, CA

Class Start: Wednesday, January 17, 2024 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (PT).

Additional Information

For other inquiries, contact

About the Instructor

Cindy Chupack has written two essays featured in the New York Times' Modern Love column; performed stories for The Moth; guested on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!"; had her own relationship column in both Glamour and O, The Oprah Magazine; and authored two comic memoirs: the NYT bestseller "The Between Boyfriends Book: A Collection of Cautiously Hopeful Essays," and "The Longest Date: Life as a Wife.” Her first children's picture book, "We Waited for You," was just released in July, 2023. Cindy received a journalism degree from Northwestern University, then moved to New York City to work in advertising right out of college. She sold her first humorous essay to New York Woman magazine in 1990, and that piece was spotted by a TV producer who encouraged her to pursue comedy writing, which she’s been doing ever since. Two Emmys and three Golden Globes later, her credits include Sex and the City, Modern Family, Everybody Loves Raymond, Better Things, Divorce, and most recently Fleishman is in Trouble. She made her feature directing debut in 2018 with her film OTHERHOOD (starring Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette and Felicity Huffman), which is available on Netflix. For more about Cindy, including links to some of her essays, visit

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