Two local writers, one a Moon resident, are planning a series of workshops this fall to help high school juniors and seniors prepare for standardized tests and write college application essays.
University of Pittsburgh graduates and professional writers, Alie Gensheimer and Jamie Novak, plan to host two college preparation writing workshops in the North Hills for high school juniors and seniors.
The workshops will take place at North Way
Christian Church in Wexford on Saturdays in September and are open to all
high school students preparing to take standardized tests, as well as
those preparing to apply to colleges.
The first workshop taking place on Sept. 14 and Sept. 21 will help students prepare for the writing sections of the SAT and ACT. The second workshop taking place on Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 will focus on college application essays, resumes and activities lists, according to the organizers.
Novak, who lives in the North Hills, has a degree in English literature and a certificate in public and professional writing. She founded an online editing and writing tutoring service, Winking Owl Writing, and works with students regularly.
Novak said she knows the importance
of solid writing skills, especially when it comes to college admissions.
“Because I have worked as a tutor and editor for several years, I see how critical strong writing skills are for everyone, no matter what their age or profession,” Novak said. “However, sharpening your writing abilities during high school is particularly crucial, as it can truly make or break your college career, as far as which colleges you’re accepted to and how well you do once you’re there.”
Gensheimer, a Moon resident, graduated with a degree in nonfiction writing and a certificate in public and professional writing, and emphasized that students can greatly increase their chance of success—whatever their definition of success may be—by learning to effectively communicate through writing.
“No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, whether it’s getting into college or getting a job, you need to be able to tactfully and effectively communicate with others through writing,” she said. “High school students don’t learn to write with finesse anymore, so that’s a skill that Jamie and I hope to pass along to students through these workshops.”
The SAT/ACT preparation workshop will teach students to successfully organize and outline an essay. Participants will also review common grammar and mechanics mistakes and complete practice essay tests, for which they will receive detailed feedback from instructors.
The college application workshop will allow students to complete admission essays, as well as create resumes and activities lists. Along with learning how to compose creative, effective essays, students will receive personalized feedback from instructors and can even work one-on-one with them if they wish to finalize their essays during the workshop.
“What’s great about this workshop is that students can get the hardest parts of their college applications out of the way in just a few days,” Novak said. “By the end of the three days, they’ll have polished essays that are ready to be submitted.”
Novak and Gensheimer will also be available to students after the workshop has ended to review additional application essays for a small fee.
“As students continue to work on college applications throughout the summer and fall, we are happy to work with them so that they are confident that they’re submitting their best work,” Gensheimer said.
“College admission is a total coin toss these days, as it’s become so incredibly competitive, but stellar writing will improve students’ chances of getting in and will certainly improve their chances of success down the road.”
The price of each workshop is $250, or $200 if students sign
up by Monday, Aug. 19. Participants can
also save an additional $50 if they refer a friend to the workshop.
For more information about the College Prep Writing Workshops, see the attached PDF or email firstname.lastname@example.org.