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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Adult courses

The Personal Essay: A Writing Workshop

Week 1: July 3-9, 2016

The registration period for this program has passed.
Please contact us if you have any questions.

Join our e-mail list to be alerted when new course information is available (late December).

Writing the personal essay—the informal or familiar or genuine essay—is a wonderful means of exploring what really matters to you. In this class, you'll write about events in your life that have moved you and mull over those questions about the human experience that most compel your interest. You'll be encouraged to strive for conversational frankness and a high tolerance for uncertainty—writing not so much to prove ideas as to weigh their merits. In the process, you'll deepen your own and your readers' understanding of your life story.

Novelist, essayist, and short story writer Maureen McCoy will lead us as we analyze the work of published essayists and create, read, and discuss our own.

Maureen McCoy

Maureen McCoy, Cornell emerita professor, continues to teach in the English Department and in the department’s Creative Writing Program. She is the author of four novels: Junebug, Walking After Midnight, Summertime, and Diving Blood. She has also published short stories... > more


Once you've registered, we'll send you materials on the academic program and other information to help you prepare for CAU. A $50 per person, per class, non-refundable deposit is required with your registration. All deposits are applied to the full program charges. Register now!

Program charges

Below are the program fees and housing choices for the on-campus summer programs. Please contact us if you have questions.

For adults staying on campus, the program fee (per adult, per week) includes the course, lodging, fifteen all-you-care-to-eat meals, banquet dinner, coffee breaks, hospitality hours, evening lectures, walks and talks, welcome and farewell receptions, conference-lot parking fees, and use of most of Cornell’s campus facilities. Some courses have additional fees as noted. Wednesday dinner is on your own. Some campus facilities, such as the golf course, also charge specific user fees.

Standard room, on-campus housing, and meals

$1,970 double occupancy, $100 single supplement

Standard room, on-campus housing with exclusive bath, and meals

$2,030 double occupancy, $150 single supplement

Course fee for commuters and those staying at Hilton Homewood Suites

$1,285. This fee does not include housing or meals. If you wish to stay at Hilton Homewood Suites, please call 607.266.0000 to make a reservation in the CAU block.

Commuter meal plan option

$327. Most CAUers staying at Hilton Homewood Suites select our meal plan for the week in order to enjoy the full CAU experience. It includes six breakfasts, five lunches, and four dinners.