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Summer Workshops for Young Writers

Stand-Out Stories: Personal Essays for College Applications and Beyond with Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons


8 Sessions

Out of stock

Monday - Thursday 1:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT July 12 to July 22, 2021

Online via Zoom

This course is also offered from August 9-19. Click here to register for the August session.

“Show don’t tell” is common advice for fiction writers, but it is key for crafting college essays, too! Here’s why it works: Information is absorbed through the five senses and processed by the brain’s limbic system, resulting in an emotional response. A gut punch. A heart lift. A stomach drop. In this interactive workshop, students will mine their memories for vivid, sensory details that create an emotional connection with the reader.

Each student will receive tailored guidance as they generate, draft, and revise a personal essay that opens a window into their unique character for admissions officers. Students will also swap stories and read each other’s drafts aloud to practice providing specific, beneficial feedback to their peers. At the end of the two weeks, students will leave with a solid draft and a revision plan to polish their essays. More importantly, they will be equipped with literary tools to elevate the impact of their words as they transition to writing at the college level.

Designed for young writers, ages 13-18.
Capacity: 12

NOTE: Please include the following information about the student taking the course in the “Notes” field at checkout: student’s name, grade level, and email address.

Each year The Center for Fiction offers KidsWrite Fellowships for young adults in need of financial assistance. To apply to be a 2021 Summer KidsWrite Fellow, please click hereThe deadline to apply for a KidsWrite Fellowship is 11:59pm ET on June 12, 2021.

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Led by

  • KJFitzsimmons

    Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

    Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

    Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons is a writer, educator, and storyteller who lives in Astoria, Queens. Her nonfiction work has appeared in Human Parts, Marie Claire, and Hippocampus magazine, among others. Her most recent play, a superhero comedy, All I Want Is One More Meanwhile… made its Midwest premiere at Otherworld Theatre in Chicago. Combining her love for narrative nonfiction and theater, Kelly Jean created No, YOU Tell It! a storytelling series dedicated to performing true-life tales with a twist. Learn more and listen to the podcast at