How to Tell Your Jewish Story: A Hey Alma Writing Class

Get inspiration, get experience — and get writing!

Here at Hey Alma, we love nothing more than working with Jewish writers. We’re invested in telling stories and building community through sharing and amplifying the voices of all Jewish people. We’ve been publishing Jewish stories since 2017, and now, seven years later, we thought to ourselves: What if we offered a class to help more people write their stories? That’s where you come in!

Do you want to write your Jewish story? If so, this writing class that we’re offering online on Monday, June 24 at 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET is for you!

Sign up for our first Hey Alma writing class here!

One of our major goals at Hey Alma is to honor a diverse range of Jewish voices — but something we often hear from writers is they’re not sure where to start, or they’re not sure how to connect their Judaism to the subjects they want to write about. Sometimes, a Jewish person with a story will say, “But I’m not a writer.”

Vanessa Friedman, deputy managing editor of Hey Alma and writing instructor with an MFA in creative nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College, believes that everyone can be a writer. Storytelling is a natural human impulse, and if you want to tell your story, Vanessa wants to help you write it down.

In this two-hour class, we’ll read short pieces and excerpts to inspire us; we’ll brainstorm and unlock our creativity with fun warm-up writing exercises; and we’ll use prompts to start writing our Jewish stories. This is not a workshop, and you won’t be sharing your work with others in the class. But participants will leave the class with the start of an essay, the confidence to continue working on it independently, and the knowledge about how and where to pitch it if publication is the goal.

There will also be an optional 30-minute Q&A with Vanessa at the end of the class, in which you can ask questions about pitching stories, working in digital media, or anything else about writing and publishing.

This class is open to all ages (18+) and all writing levels. Whether you have just graduated your freshman year of college or you’re in your 60s with many published books under your belt, we’re certain that if the idea of writing your Jewish story appeals to you, there will be something in this class for you. We are open to everyone and want to particularly encourage Jews to sign up who aren’t always heard enough in the organized Jewish world, including Jews of Color, queer Jews, Jews by choice, and Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews.

Short readings will be sent out in advance for accessibility. You are not required to read them before class, though you are certainly welcome to.

This class will not be recorded.

You can sign up here! We’re so excited to write Jewish stories together!

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