Personal Essays

Four girls, 60 years, 11 students, 2,800 miles and a new awareness of history

September 15, 2023

A journalist-turned-teacher takes students on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail to explore the nation's challenges through a journalistic lens

Personal Essays

The (should-be-easy) interview a veteran interviewer couldn’t bring himself to do

July 28, 2023

A reporter sat with people in "the worst moments of their lives" but froze when it came time to talk to a famous writer

Personal Essays

What a prison writing program taught a professional writer from the inside out

July 20, 2023

Journalist and nonfiction author Lauren Kessler spent three years teaching — and learning from — men who wrote their stories behind bars

Personal Essays

“Star Trek” as a guide to sharing intimate, personal details

June 13, 2023

A PhD researcher in neuroscience finds a useful tool to decide when and how to use personal stories in her science writing

Personal Essays

What’s in a name? When it comes to podcasting, it can be confusing

April 14, 2023

A Canadian radio journalist fell in love with serial narrative podcasts, and is determined to help them find their known place at the storytelling table

Personal Essays

Getting out of your head ~ and out of the way of a true story

April 6, 2023

For the best stories in his career, a magazine writer had to pay attention to what the story was telling him — and sometimes take long walks

Personal Essays

Keeping it real in a news reporting class

February 28, 2023

A veteran newspaperman devotes a night of his reporting class to Title IX history, led by three women who fought for equal standing in sports journalism

Personal Essays

The real “talent” behind great writing? Passion and practice

January 4, 2023

A writer and editor challenges the notion of born talent, and argues that superior skills are earned through a drive to learn the craft and do the work

Personal Essays

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

November 25, 2022

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, 2022

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

What empathy is, and isn’t, in journalism

November 18, 2022

An author who profiles sensitive subjects makes a case for "the journalism of empathy" and how to practice it

Personal Essays

What 8-year-olds can remind us about good writing

November 8, 2022

A journalist and mom goes to her son's third-grade class to teach writing ~ and instead becomes the grateful student