Glamour Presents: How to Tell Your Story
4.4 (45 ratings)
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Glamour Presents: How to Tell Your Story

Master the Basics of Writing Effective Stories
4.4 (45 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
388 students enrolled
Last updated 3/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $120 Discount: 92% off
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 15 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Master the basics of storytelling and how that helps make a compelling piece of writing
  • Master the six core pillars of storytelling including subject, voice, character, setting, turning point and revision.
  • Learn best practices from top selling authors including Jessica Knoll ("The Luckiest Girl Alive"), J.Courtney Sullivan (The Engagements), Camille Perri ("The Assistants"), Stephanie Clifford ("Everybody Rise"), Mbolo Imbue ("Behold the Dreamers"), and Ed Park ("Personal Days")
  • Produce a personal essay of your own that is ready to share with others.
  • Know how to explore how to publish a written piece, and how to continue your writing for the future.
View Curriculum
  • Come with a desire to put your thoughts into words and a point of view you're excited to share!

At Glamour, we know how to tell a story. We produce more than 185 pieces of new content per day. That’s a lot of stories! And we know how to get them in the hands of readers who will take notice and remember them--1 in 8 American women reads what we publish. In this course, we will share our expertise with you to teach you how to craft YOUR story.

This class is for the person who wants to find their voice and share it in writing. Maybe you want to write a passionate post on Facebook. Maybe you need to craft just the right personal statement for your grad school application, or maybe you’re daydreaming about starting a blog. If you have something important, sad, scary, opinionated or hilarious to say and you want to find a compelling way to say it in writing—this class is for you.


This course is made up of 49 short lectures, where you’ll get a comprehensive guide on how to write a personal essay of your own. Each lecture will introduce a key pillar or concept followed by a simple, practical step-by-step exercise designed to help you put the learnings to use. Although the course will focus on developing a personal essay, the method you’ll learn can help you write everything from a passionate blog post to a memoir to a fiction novel.

You’ll learn how to:

·       Frame your subject

·       Find your written voice

·       Develop your character (even if that character is you)

·       Evoke a compelling setting

·       Plot your action or turning point

·       Tackle the revision process

and much more!

Everything you need is here in this course, right down to the notecards you’ll use to organize your thoughts and shape your ideas.

Through Glamour’s exclusive access, you will also learn from six top-selling writers including Jessica Knoll, J.Courtney Sullivan, Camille Perri, Stephanie Clifford, Mbolo Imbue and Ed Park about how they apply each of these pillars of storytelling to their own writing.  You’ll get their expert advice and plenty of inspiration to get you started on your path to becoming a writer.

By the end of this class, you will have completed a personal essay of your own.  And you’ll learn some tips and tricks to help you continue with your writing and take this from a passion project to a career, if that’s your dream.

Be the author of your own story and join us.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for novice writers who feel they have something to say but who don’t know how to start putting words on the page
  • This course is not a good fit for someone who has a lot of writing experience and a strong grip on the basics of storytelling.
Compare to Other Storytelling Courses
Curriculum For This Course
49 Lectures
2 Lectures 03:09

Welcome to Glamour's course on storytelling and personal essay writing.  In this lecture, I will share exactly what to expect from the course and what it covers.  The course is organized around a series of short lectures that introduce a key pillar or concept in storytelling such as character and setting, followed by a simple, practical step-by-step exercise designed to help you put the learnings to use. In each of the sections, we will also hear from six top-selling authors about how they apply each of the storytelling pillars to their own writing.  By the end of this course you will have completed a personal essay of your own and I will share some tips on how you can take your passion for writing to the next level. 

Preview 01:51

Think of three memorable or meaningful experiences from your own life, and jot down a sentence or phrase about each one. The point of this exercise is to help you overcome the mindset where you think you have nothing interesting to write about.  

Preview 01:18
Storytelling Meets Essay Writing
4 Lectures 09:17

I will define "storytelling" and explain why it is more useful and relevant than ever. I will share some examples of writers who have taken their stories into their own hands and shared them in a compelling way. 

Preview 01:19

What is the story you find yourself telling and retelling to people in your life?  Your topic for an essay may grow out of a story that you find yourself repeating over and over again. Writing an essay doesn't need to feel like an academic assignment and can be driven by personal reflection. 

Preview 02:28

Don't be scared away by the term "personal essay."  I will share what a personal essay is and what its not (hint: it's not the 5 paragraph essay you dreaded in college).  I will also cover the pillars that make up the core of a personal essay that are framework in most forms of writing.  
Preview 04:19

Think about the last time you told a great story to a group of eager listeners.  Remember the feeling of striking the right note? In this exercise you will put into writing what the experience felt like. 

Preview 01:11
Obstacles & How to Overcome Them
3 Lectures 07:38

Before you get started, you might face some common obstacles.  It is normal to put hurdles between you and your story.  I will share some of the obstacles I face and how I work through them.  

Preview 03:43

We all have an inner critic.  If left unchecked, this voice will quickly become the loudest in the room.  This lecture will include tactical tips on how to silence this harsh voice. 

Silence the Critic

Think of the person in your life who always laughs at your jokes or nods encouragingly while you tell a story.  For me, that person was Harriet Marcus.  In this exercise you will visualize and work to understand your audience.  

Exercise: Who's Your Harriet Marcus?
Pillar #1: Subject
5 Lectures 08:25

This lecture will tackle how to narrow down your topic which can sometimes be the most daunting task of writing a personal essay.  In this section, I will introduce a simple three-step process for zeroing in on a subject.  

Pillar #1: Subject

Before you frame your subject, you need to ask yourself some key questions.  In this lecture, I will provide you with some questions to ask yourself to help you get in the mindset which is the first step in the three step process. 

Step #1: Get in the Mindset

The second step in framing your subject is to brainstorm what you want to write about.  You will do an exercise to see what resonates and notice if a pattern emerges from what you have written. 

Step #2: Brainstorm

The third step and final step in the process of framing your subject is to use notecards to help organize your written thoughts into ideas and lines of dialogue pertaining to the words you circled in the brainstorming lecture.  

Step #3: Make Notecards

Quick review of what you've learned so far. 

Quick Review
Author Visit #1: Meet Jessica Knoll
2 Lectures 08:44

You will learn how Jessica approaches difficult topics and turns them into the subject of her work.  

Author Visit #1: Meet Jessica Knoll

Jessica will answer three top questions frequently posed to writers. 

Three Questions Writers Always Get Asked
Pillar #2: Voice
4 Lectures 09:32

This lecture will dig into what we mean when we talk about 'voice' in the spoken sense.  You'll learn to identify qualities of everyday speech/conversation such as volume, tone and cadence/rhythm.  

Pillar #2: Voice

The voice we put in writing shares many characteristics/qualities of the voice we use every day in casual conversation.  This lecture will discuss how you find your voice and bring it to the page.

Voice in Writing

In this lecture I will highlight seven of the qualities where spoken voice intersects with written voice including humor, relatability, hyperbole, nostalgia, forcefulness, dialect and specificity. 

Voice: Spoken Meets Written

Think of a person whose voice you admire. Write a sentence or two about how this person's voice makes you feel.  What is their point of view, and how does it relate to the story you want to tell?

Exercise: Voice Lessons
Author Visit #2: Meet J. Courtney Sullivan
2 Lectures 07:57

You will learn how J. Courtney developed her voice and she will share tips for cultivating your own. 

Author Visit #2: Meet J. Courtney Sullivan

J. Courtney will answer three top questions frequently posed to writers. 

Three Questions Writers Always Get Asked
Pillar #3: Character
4 Lectures 05:18

In this lecture I will introduce you to the concept of character development.  Even in non-fiction pieces, shaping your character is critical in making your reader curious and invested. 

Pillar #3: Character

In this lecture I will share why point of view is an important part of the personal essay and we will explore different points of view you might consider for your own essay.  You will also learn the difference in points of view including first person, second person and third person.  

Character: Point of View

In this lecture you will learn how to "hear" a character's voice in your head, and how/when you weave dialogue into a personal essay. 

Character: Dialogue

In this exercise you will get acquainted with your main character.

Exercise: Meet Your Character
Author Visit #3: Meet Camille Perri
2 Lectures 08:04

You will hear how Camille got acquainted with Tina Fontana, the main character of her debut novel, which was a fictional creation born as a version of herself. 

Author Visit #3: Meet Camille Perri

Camille will answer three top questions frequently posed to writers. 

Three Questions Writers Always Get Asked
Pillar #4: Setting
4 Lectures 05:14

In this section you will learn how to create a vivid setting for your reader using tools such as the "show don't tell" or SDT concept that translates into scale, detail and time period.

Pillar #4: Setting

In this lecture I will share how to use scale and detail to help focus the reader and let them zoom into your setting so they can see, hear and feel the world you are building. 

Setting: Scale and Detail

In this lecture I will share tips and guidelines to help you create an accurate time period in your essay.

Setting: Time Period

This exercise will help you sketch out where your story will take place.

Exercise: Sketch Your Setting
6 More Sections
About the Instructor
Glamour Magazine
4.4 Average rating
45 Reviews
388 Students
1 Course

Glamour is one of the biggest women's media brands, reaching one out of eight American women, with 10 million print readers and 11 million unique users online. Glamour has received a record number of National Magazine Awards, including Magazine of the Year, honoring print and digital excellence, and General Excellence for its category. Its content is available in an iPad edition, apps, podcasts, and books — including two New York Times bestsellers. Glamour's video channel, which boasts 141 million views across 60 series, has received substantial critical accolades, including two Television Academy honors. With a robust social strategy across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Pinterest, Glamour’s total social media following is 14.5 million.

Elisabeth Egan
4.4 Average rating
45 Reviews
388 Students
1 Course

Elisabeth Egan is the books editor at Glamour, where she has worked for three years. She has also been an editor at Self and Amazon Publishing. She divides her time between reading and writing, and her essays and book reviews have appeared in Glamour, Self, People, O, Real Simple, Refinery29 and a number of newspapers, including The New York Times, The LA Times and The Washington Post.

Egan’s first novel, A Window Opens, is now available in paperback. She always wanted to be a writer, but she had no idea how to get started—until she decided to just sit down and start. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three kids, two cats, one dog and a crested gecko with a life expectancy of 27 years.