1:1 mentorship

The Unexpected Shape
Writing Academy 


Are you eager to unlock the secrets of the literary industry and/or elevate your writing? I’m here to help you do just that. With a passion for teaching and mentoring, I find joy in sharing knowledge that's often hidden inside ivory towers. Teaching allows me to break down barriers and democratize information about writing and publishing, fostering and holding space for a community of informed and inspired writers—just like you.

Below you'll find all kinds of ways that you can learn and work with me, an award-winning, best-selling author, from our famous free video series, 10-Day MFA, to our beloved Writing Academy, to one-on-one mentorships. Can't wait to see you there!


“There is no end to education."

xo, Esmé

Start the academy with

Academy 101 Workshops

get started with our free e-course

Get started with the free 10-Day MFA series

Academy 101 Workshops


Your Best Nonfiction Topic


Building a Writing Practice While Living with Limitations


One-Day Writing Kickstart



“I find [Esmé] to be a smart and insightful teacher and appreciate her teaching style, which is patient, approachable, and calm... I always prefer quiet power over noisy, frenetic instruction."


A moderated community where you can meet fellow students and beta readers

12 guest lectures, including Hanif Abdurraqib, Leslie Jamison, Eula Biss, Suleika Jaouad, Stephanie Foo, & more

Eight modules of self-paced courses, from Pre-Writing to Writing to Publication

The Unexpected Shape Writing Academy is our flagship offer and arguably the most robust resource we have. Containing modules of video lessons (available also as a private podcast) that takes you holistically from pre-writing to writing to publication, the Academy is our star for a reason.

Our Signature Program

Author of High Priestess of the Apocalypse: A Memoir of Disobedience and Sobriety


"I came to the Academy really wanting to hone my skills and to learn from luminaries in their field. I wanted to think deeply about the mechanics of my writing, on a craft level, and also to start thinking of myself as a professional within the writing world. Not just to write in a vacuum, but in conversation with others, and in a way where others might also read my work.

And my expectations were wildly exceeded. Not only did I gain so many real, tangible skills I’ll use again and again (Index cards! Research! A book proposal!), but what I really got from the Academy was an ability to take myself and my writing seriously—to see myself as someone whose story was worth sharing. The book I’ve written wouldn’t exist without my learning to see myself in that way."

our most high-touch offering

This is the gold-star, most high-touch thing we offer. My personalized mentorship sessions occur where you are the only student. Choose between the Magic Sessions and the Hummingbird Project to have an experience catered to exactly what you want to learn and where you are at with your writing (both fiction and nonfiction), no-holds-barred. Get ready to see extraordinary results—and to feel more confident about yourself as a writer, too.

1:1 Mentorship

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