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Sat, Jun 17



Me, Myself and Our Story: The Art of the Personal Essay

Me, Myself and Our Story: The Art of the Personal Essay is a four-hour workshop on producing a compelling personal essay for girls ages 14 through 17 that will be led by best-selling author, essayist and coach jonetta rose barras.

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Me, Myself and Our Story: The Art of the Personal Essay
Me, Myself and Our Story: The Art of the Personal Essay

Time & Location

Jun 17, 2023, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM EDT

Washington, 1629 K St NW suite 300, Washington, DC 20006, USA

About the event

Too often the narrative or personal essay is treated like the Cinderella of the American  literary cannon. It’s seen as shabby and undesirous; after all, it is not a book. Its limitations are too numerous and, therefore, mostly incapable of exciting or satisfying a reader’s imagination, causing them to leave unfulfilled. 

However, if it is executed properly, the personal essay can be an exquisite piece of literary art. We need only consider Joan Didion’s “Goodbye to All That” or James Baldwin’s “Notes of A Native Son,” as examples of its potential. How many times have critics cited both as among the best of American writing.

Me, Myself and Our Story, a free, four-hour literary workshop,  is presented by Esther Productions Inc.. Participants will explore published essays by well-known writers; learn the  key elements of an award-winning essay; and, using episodes from their own lives, begin to master the art by producing an original essay. Later, they will have the opportunity to read their essays before a live audience.  

jonetta rose barras, a best-selling author, essayist, fiction writer and journalist, will lead Me,Myself and Our Story. 

PLEASE  JOIN! Seating is limited. (Lunch will be served)


More about jonetta rose barras: She has spent the past thirty years reporting and commenting on national political, public policy and cultural trends, bringing a fresh, provocative and informative voice to a variety of media platforms. Ms. barras was a columnist with the Washington Post, The Washington Times, Washington Examiner and Washington City Paper. Currently, her opinion essays appear weekly in

Her writings also have appeared in USA Today, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Essence magazine, the New Republic, the American Enterprise magazine, the Washingtonian, and Crisis magazine. She also has been quoted in several notable publications including The New York Times.

For eight years, she was the popular political analyst and co-host of the Politics Hour on WAMU-FM, an NPR affiliate. 

Ms. barras served as host for four years “The Inner Loop,” a Sunday Morning Television Public Affairs Program that aired on WB Channel 50 and hosted her own weekly radio show for five years on the 50,000-watt WPFW-FM radio in Washington, D.C. In 2021, she received a grant from Spotlight DC Fund for Investigative Reporting for Children At Risk a five-part series on the DC child welfare system. In 2018, Ms. barras was named a National Fellow of the University of Southern California Annenberg Center of Health Journalism.

In 2016, Ms. barras was inducted into the Society of Professional Journalists, DC Pro Chapter’s Hall of Fame, joining such prestigious members as Bill Plante (White House Correspondent, CBS News), Susan Page (USA Today), Elizabeth Drew and Eleanor Clift. In 2010, Ms. barras was celebrated by Washington City Paper as one of the best columnists in DC. In 2008, she received an honorary doctorate from Trinity University. The Washingtonian Magazine named her in 2001 as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ms. barras is the author of Bridges: Reuniting Daughters and Daddies (Bancroft Press 2005), Black Board bestseller Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl: The Impact of Fatherlessness on Black Women (Ballantine 2000, hardcover—2001, paperback), The Last of the Black Emperors: The Hollow Comeback of Marion Barry in the New Age of Black Leaders (Bancroft Press 1998), and The Corner Is No Place For Hiding (Bunny and the Crocodile Press 1996). Her writings also have appeared in numerous anthologies including “Amazing Graces”(Paycock Press 2012) and “It’s All Love: Black Writers on Soul Mates, Family, and Friends (Broadway Books 2009).

She is currently at work on “Women Like Us: New and Collected Poetry, Fiction and Essays, which is expected to be released in 2024.

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