Fragments: Exploring the Collage Essay

“It was but yesterday I thought myself a fragment quivering without rhythm in the sphere of life.

Now I know that I am the sphere, and all life in rhythmic fragments moves within me.” – Khalil Gibran


Join University of Tennessee, Chattanooga Professor Sarah Einstein in a 3-week online course built around writing collage essays. Much like its namesake art form, the collage essay breaks convention in allowing the writer to explore new and meaningful connections between different pieces of writing to form one complete work. This course begins on August 3, 2020.

The collage essay is particularly effective for offering readers the opportunity to make meaning out of the elements of the essay for themselves, and for presenting apparently disparate experiences in conversation with one another. They are often attributed as being “discontinuous” in their form, composed of short pieces of dialogue, narrative, description, quotation, monologue, and more.

This course, presented through the free Coursesites online platform, will be broken down into 3 week-long segments, built to allow each participant to explore the material at their own pace. Sarah will introduce each reading/writing prompt with a video, but most communication from participants will be via writing.

The course will be organized as follows:

Week One: Readings and Discussion of Collage Essays

Week Two: Daily (Monday-Friday) Writing Prompts for Developing Pieces of the Collage

Week Three: Workshopping Essays in Small Groups

Please note, during these weeks there are no scheduled “meetup times.” This course will be asynchronous so that anyone can explore the material on their own personal schedule as it works best for them.

Following the workshop portion, Sarah will set up a personal Zoom meeting with each participant to discuss their individual essay.

Sarah Einstein is the author of The TriPart Heart (Sundress Press, forthcoming) Mot: A Memoir (University of Georgia Press 2015), Remnants of Passion (Shebooks 2014). Her essays and short stories have appeared in The Sun, Ninth Letter, PANK and other journals. Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Best of the Net, and the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She is also the founding editor of the literary journal Signal Mountain Review and co-editor of the anthology Older Queer Voices.


Thanks to the generosity of writer/educator Sarah Einstein, all proceeds benefit Rockvale Writers’ Colony. We are grateful for the donation of her time and expertise in facilitating this course.

Cost: $225

Registration is Open! CLICK HERE to register via Submittable.