WORKSHOPS (2500 × 400 px)

Writing & Publishing Your Personal Essay Workshop FAQ's

  • The goal is to teach you the in's and out's of how to write personal narrative, in essay format. We will review what to consider when you are looking to publish your story online, the tools that you will need to share your story with your community, and how to ride the wave of feedback when talking about challenging topics.
  • This online- workshop will consist of a six-week commitment. There are no make-ups or replacement sessions. Sessions will not be recorded to preserve the privacy of our participants. All classes will be held on Zoom.
  • Five 90 min sessions once a week, and one 1:1 session with Shira during the last week, to review your writings.
  • The workshop has been structured to nurture several pieces of writing. You will submit them for group reading and supportive comments to be discussed when we meet.
  • Each session will consist of a presentation from Shira Lankin Sheps, MSW, and a supportive discussion about each member's writing. Like Layers online, we will be creating a supportive and safe space.
  • Each group will have no less than three members and no more than six, to ensure that each person can receive the individual attention required to develop their writing.
  • We will be addressing stigmatized topics and often there may be a sharing of trauma- please be mindful before signing up for this workshop.
  • Everything that is shared within the workshop by the participants is confidential and must not be disclosed outside the workshop.
  • In advance of each week's session, there will be writing exercises to further expand upon the ideas we have discussed in the previous workshop.
  • Participation in the workshop does not guarantee publication on The Layers Project Magazine but the essays written are eligible for submission.
  • Tuition must be paid in full before the workshop begins to ensure participation and to save your spot.

Looking forward to talking to you more about your goals of writing & publishing your story.



My experience with this workshop was transformative. It was nothing like I had expected it to be. I thought we would write our essays and Shira would mark them, showing us where we went 'wrong' and how we could have done it better. The reality couldn't have been further from my expectations. Shira created a safe space within which we spread our wings, opened up our hearts, and spilled out our truths. As a group, we celebrated each other, we held space for each other, we cried at each other's essays as we held our breath reading them. I felt safe, supported, and seen. Thank you, Shira. I have so many more words but they are still forming!

- Sarah Raanan

Working with Shira Lankin Sheps, and her ability to help me parse out my feelings is just that- it’s work- of the highest level. She helps you take your intimate, non-corporeal feelings and give them language and context, not only for yourself, but your readers as well. She is caring, empathetic, and you feel that with Shira, she is the net under your tightrope walk over your sea of vulnerability. I wouldn’t rather have anyone else catch me.

- Rivkah Herzfeld

Shira’s warmth and authenticity penetrates everything she says- even on zoom! The writing was cathartic and empowering. Words are powerful and they paint pictures, open doors and build community. I want to be an artist like that.

- Yael Saffra

I've always loved writing. I remember when I was in High School, writing essays was always a really easy part of the curriculum for me. Of course, I didn't realize at the time, that writing wasn't as fun for everyone. I thought what I experienced was normal and not unique. So here I am, 34 years old and connecting to a part of myself I've taken for granted for a long time. Writing in the Layers workshop was incredibly healing. I didn't expect the writing to go to such a deeply personal place. I also loved and appreciated the connection I gained with other participants. I wish I could do it all over again!

- Sefira Lightstone


Writing & Publishing Your Personal Essay Workshop Session Breakdown

Session 1: The Transformational Power of Reclaiming Personal Narrative

Session 2: Unpacking the Personal Essay

Session 3: How to Write about Struggle- The Clinical Component

Session 4: The Format of a Compelling Personal Essay

Session 5: Addressing Feedback from Readers

Session 6: Personal 1:1 Consultation Session


Winter Session dates

Winter Session Now Forming. Exact dates to be determined based on cohort.

In Shekel 2000 NIS for five 90 min sessions (2)


Application Process:

  1. Please fill out the form below so that we can learn more about your interests and availability.

Form Here

  1. Once the form is submitted you will receive a link to book a 15 min interview with Shira to talk about your goals and how The Layers Workshops might be a good fit for you. 
  2. When you meet with Shira, you will discuss the essay for the application and find your story that you want to share to introduce you to the workshop. 
  3. Email and put "Workshop Application" in the subject line. Send it in the body of the email- no attachments.
  4. After the receipt of your essay you will receive an email confirming your acceptance to the workshop and further instructions and details. 

Admission is contingent on timing, scheduling, and application review. 

Writing & Publishing Personal Essay (3)
Photo by Tzipora Lifchitz
Photo by Tzipora Lifchitz

Really looking forward to connecting with you!