Creative Writing Workshops:
I teach creative writing privately, at the University of Rochester, and at Writers & Books, a community-based literary center in Rochester, NY.
On Saturday, July 22, 2017, I will be a Creative Nonfiction Faculty Member (along with J.R. Fenn and Stephen J. West) at the Gell Summer Intensive, in Naples, New York. Registration for this advanced-level intensive is by application only; students who wish to participate must submit 8-10 pages of their best work to Writers & Books by June 19. Some partial, needs-based scholarships will be available for accepted students. For more info or to apply, please click here.
College Application Essays:
A former high school English teacher, I’ve taught in Rochester, New York at The Harley School, Brighton High School, Twelve Corners Middle School, as well as at The Northfield Mount Hermon School, an elite boarding school in Massachusetts. Later I became a college professor, and now teach part-time at the University of Rochester. I also enjoy my work with high school students through focused tutoring on college application essays. My rate for tutoring is $100 / hour. Testimonials from two of my former students are below:
“Sejal taught me how to start papers when I was completely lost as well as how to be concise with my writing, two things I had struggled with a lot. Even after my first time working with her, I became a noticeably better writer and editor. Sejal’s love for writing shone through in every step of working through my college essays and she gave me—an engineer—a greater appreciation for writing.”—Sangam Munsiff, Pittsford Sutherland High School, now at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
“Sejal’s instruction was supportive and specific and resulted in getting admitted to my school of choice. She pushed me to think deeper and include details and supporting evidence, which was difficult but necessary. Sejal taught me strategies that I had not learned in my own writing or English classes. I still use some of the tips she taught me for my papers in college.” –Sadie Aman, Mercy High School, now at Nazareth College, Rochester, New York
I work with writers one-on-one, offering more instruction and feedback than is possible in a typical workshop. I currently focus on creative nonfiction essays, memoir, and autobiographical fiction. My current rate is $125 / hour. To discuss your project and individual needs, please email me.
Editing & Copyediting:
I also work with job seekers on cover letters, and am available for other kinds of editing and copyediting. For editing and copyediting rates or to discuss your needs, please contact me:
Yoga, Mindfulness, & Writing Workshops:
A lifelong lover of dance, I grew up studying South Indian Classical Dance, and took classes in ballet and modern dance, including Garth Fagan technique. My love of movement also drew me to yoga and contemplative dance in my mid-twenties. In 2009, I earned my 200-hour RYT certification in Iyengar-influenced yoga at Open Sky Yoga under Francois Raoult. I later studied with Judith Hanson Lasater, and completed her Relax & Renew Restorative Yoga teacher training.
I lived in New York City for much of my thirties. I had a tenure track position as a professor of creative writing– something I had worked toward for a long time. However, I longed for a more embodied, balanced existence beyond running to and from teaching, committee meetings, grading, and conference-attending. One Sunday morning I found myself at the Joffrey Ballet Studio in the West Village, at the recommendation of an old friend. There, I took my first class in Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms — an improvisational movement meditation. This movement practice reconnected me to my earlier, dancing self and my (our) innate creativity. I was hooked. I studied 5Rhythms in weekly classes in NYC and later in an immersive, month-long work study program with Lucia Horan at The Esalen Institute. I also studied Vipassana Meditation and sat three 10-day silent courses. Writing is a physical act and these experiences and practices fundamentally altered my approach to writing and teaching.
After moving back to Rochester in 2012, I collaborated with Marijana Ababovic, whom I met during yoga teacher training, and we created and co-taught our first Writing & Yoga workshop–an alternating sequence of yoga asanas and guided writing exercises. We offered this retreat again in 2013. That fall, I taught my third Writing & Yoga retreat with yoga teacher Mary Aman. My 2014 retreat, “Relax Into Writing,” was held at Writers & Books’ Gell Center in Naples, NY. In addition to teaching dedicated Writing & Yoga and Writing & Mindfulness workshops, I incorporate mindfulness practices into my creative writing classes.