Rising high school seniors are invited to join NCF Writing Program faculty for a free workshop on writing the college application essay. Workshops are offered on our campus and online!

College application essay writing can be an overwhelming experience for many students.  Not only can the stakes be high, but it is not always easy nor comfortable for students to write about themselves.  Many students don’t know where to begin or how to come up with a topic or topics to write about.  Others know what story they want to tell but don’t know how to organize their narrative.  This workshop will help students:

  • understand and analyze Common Application essay questions
  • brainstorm essay topic(s)
  • select an essay topic and generate a narrative with details and description
  • explore organizational choices
  • give and receive developmental feedback

By the end of the workshop, students will have a first draft of their essay.

Workshop Dates

At New College of Florida:
  • Friday June 10, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday July 22, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug 4,  9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

*Lunch, snacks, coffee and tea will be provided.

Online (Zoom/Canvas):
  • June 6, 7, and 8: 2:00  – 4:30 p.m.
  • July 27, 28, and 29: 12:00 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Aug 1, 2, and 3: 2:00 -4:30 p.m.

*These workshops are three consecutive days. Each day builds on the prior day so students should plan to participate all three days.

Free to Attend

Thanks to the support of the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation and a gift from a private donor, these workshops are being offered at no cost to participants.

Register for a Workshop

Registration closes at midnight the day before the workshop. Click here to register and/or to sign up to receive emails about the workshops, including reminders of registration windows. Register Here

About Your Instructor

Dr. Jennifer Wells is the Director of Writing at New College of Florida where she teaches courses in Rhetoric and Writing. Previously, Dr. Wells taught at Florida State University, and prior to that, taught high school Language Arts and directed a high school writing center.  She has been supporting high school students through the college application essay writing process for 17 years.  Along with Dr. Wells, several NCF Student Writing Assistants will be providing support and feedback as well.

I 100% believe that the admission essay workshop that I took part in at North Port High School changed the course of my college career. I was always so insecure about my writing skills. I know what I want to say, but sometimes I have trouble putting the ideas onto paper. Dr. Wells gave me the tools (which I still use to this day) that I needed to write an essay that would have me admitted into my dream school.

Arianna Gonzalez
Workshop Participant

Important Workshop Information

Here are some important details for confirmed workshop participants, who will also receive this information via email.

1 day workshops at New College of Florida:

  • Morning will focus on introducing students to the Common App essay prompts, analyzing them for what they do (and don’t) say, brainstorming a list of topics, and choosing a handful of topics.
  • Mid-morning to early afternoon is devoted to writing the very, very, very rough draft.  Students will explore different ways to organize. Dr. Wells will also share some favorite tools for productive writing.  After lunch, students will have workshop time to write.
  • Late afternoon is all about giving and receiving developmental feedback, making revisions, and finalizing an action plan for polishing the draft after the workshop

3 day online workshops:

  • Day 1: will focus on introducing students to the Common App essay prompts, analyzing them for what they do (and don’t) say, brainstorming a list of topics, and choosing a handful of topics.
  • Day 2: is devoted to writing the very, very, very rough draft.  Students will explore different ways to organize. Dr. Wells will also share some favorite tools for productive writing.  
  • Day 3: is all about giving and receiving developmental feedback, making revisions, and finalizing an action plan for polishing the draft after the workshop

To join the virtual classroom and Zoom:Students, keep your eyes peeled for an email from “Instructure Canvas” with the subject line, “Course Invitation.”  This is the invitation to the virtual classroom in our course management system, Canvas.  The Zoom link for the workshops is inside the classroom, so students will need to get in the classroom to get the link.  We will be using both the classroom and Zoom simultaneously during the workshop.  Here is a video that takes students step by step from the Instructure Canvas email to the classroom.  IMPORTANT: once you have created your Canvas account, return to ncf.instructure.com to log in.

For the workshops at NCF, a limited number of laptops will be available to use.  Students may also want to have a notebook with a pen or pencil.  Index cards will be provided.

For the online workshops, students will need a computer or laptop or tablet with a keyboard to be able to access the virtual classroom and have Zoom going at the same time. In addition to tech, students may also want to have a notebook and pen or pencil, as well as a small stack of blank index cards OR Post-It notes OR scrap paper cut up into smaller slips of paper.  And snacks.  Always write with snacks!