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Summer Workshops for Young Writers

Tackling the College Essay with Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

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Monday—Thursday 1:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT July 10 to July 20, 2023

Online via Zoom

July 10–20
Monday–Thursday, 1–3pm ET
8 Meetings via Zoom

Each year The Center for Fiction offers KidsWrite Scholarships for young adults in need of financial assistance. To apply for a 2023 Summer KidsWrite Scholarship, please click here. The deadline to apply for a KidsWrite Scholarship is 11:59pm ET on June 1, 2023.

The challenge of writing a personal statement is learning how to describe yourself. Demystify writing college application essays by breaking the process down during this two-week interactive workshop for ages 13–18.

Week 1: Get It Down features generative exercises and close readings of example essays to help students understand the purpose of a personal statement. Students will identify multiple seed ideas and explore them further by mining their memories for sensory details that create an emotional connection with readers.

Week 2: Fix It Up focuses on revision techniques, such as crafting story starters to hook readers and landing on a memorable endnote. Students will also swap drafts, read each other’s words aloud to hear their story from a new perspective, and practice providing specific, beneficial feedback to their peers.

Workshop participants will receive individualized guidance as they find, draft, and revise an essay that opens a window into their unique character for college admissions officers.

More importantly, students will be equipped with literary tools to elevate the impact of their words as they transition to writing at the college level.


Led by

  • Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

    Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

    Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

    Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons is a writer, educator, and storyteller. Her recent work has appeared in HILOBROW, Marie Claire, Hippocampus magazine, and numerous anthologies. She is the creator and producer of No, YOU Tell It!, a nonfiction series that brings storytellers together to trade tales, speak each other’s words, and empower voices on the page and stage. Kelly Jean is also the editor of the No, YOU Tell It! Ten-Year Anthology 2022, available from Palm Circle Press. Follow @noyoutellit for more.