Out of the Trenches and Chasing Butterflies

This week, Writing It Real presents the first place winner in our Spring Personal Essay Contest. Following the essay, Sheila has posted comments on what she admires in the way the essay works. Out of the Trenches and Chasing Butterflies By Perry Hessenauer Have you ever found yourself having an experience so painful to your … Continue reading

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In Debt

We present “In Debt” by Marcia Wall, which took second place in Writing It Real’s Spring 2007 Personal Essay contest. Sheila’s comments about how and why the essay succeeds are printed following the essay. In Debt by Marcia Wall The woman sitting in front of me turned around to face me. Her uncombed hair, (an … Continue reading

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Head Size 8

We present here the 3rd place essay from the Writing It Real Spring 07 Personal Essay contest. I have included some comments following Jan Henrikson’s winning essay. Head Size 8 by Jan Henrikson “Head, Size 8,” Tony said gravely as I stepped through the door of his apartment. He waved a tiny slip of paper … Continue reading

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Trusting Scrappiness

I have been reading Sebastian Matthews’ book, In My Father’s Footsteps: A Memoir, about growing up the son of the late poet William Matthews. I was fortunate to have William Matthews as my thesis advisor at the University of Washington. Years after my graduation from the program in creative writing, I edited a book about … Continue reading

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