Personal Essays

Lessons in good writing from the love of a good dog

April 13, 2022

As a man grieves his dog, he argues that the best writing is as much about the feeling as it is about the words

Personal Essays

When feedback is a drag, and when it’s path forward

March 11, 2022

An aspiring documentary filmmaker let her anxiety over "expert" feedback trip her up until she learned how to trust it — and herself

Personal Essays

Reading fiction through the filter of current events

March 2, 2022

A half-line from Richard Powers' new novel, "Bewilderment," is about his fragile son and the fragile Earth and our fragile democracy

Personal Essays

A journalist’s journey into her family story leads to a history of American pie

November 26, 2021

Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle baked a humble dessert into a big idea

Personal Essays

Two Native American journalists talk turkey about Thanksgiving

November 24, 2021

University of Montana journalist Jason Begay, of the Navajo Nation, talks to Washington Post journalist Dana Hedgpeth, of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe, about living with and correcting history

Personal Essays

50 shades of nuance in a polarized world

November 3, 2021

An essayist ponders when to write black-and-white polemics that attract clicks, and when to be more considered

Personal Essays

A retired newspaper man finds a new writing voice in the solitude of wilderness

August 24, 2021

With inspiration from other meditative writers, Chuck Haga meets himself and fellow campers in the Minnesota wilderness

Personal Essays

How a writer’s kaleidoscopic mind learned to still the distractions with haiku

July 29, 2021

A successful stage actor and director searched for the tools he needed to write in his own voice

Personal Essays

The role of editor as story director

July 16, 2021

All the world is, indeed, a stage — and all stories a sequenced (true) play

Personal Essays

What journalists need to know when interviewing a transgender person

June 24, 2021

A transgender activist and former journalist urges reporters to move past the bathroom question and other false stereotypes

Personal Essays

What a journalist mom learns from her daughter’s foray into writing the news

May 18, 2021

From the pens of babes: A 9-year-old starts a neighborhood newspaper, and reminds her journalist mother about passion, fun and problem solving

Personal Essays

What a retired journalist learned about re-learning to write

April 22, 2021

After 40 years as an editor and professor, Steven A. Smith goes back to his writing roots and dares to find a personal voice