Essay and Writing
If reading encourages us to make an empathic leap into other people’s lives
Then writing is about authentically giving voice to who you are with clarity, conviction and passion
If you are willing to make that leap of faith, we’ll help you spread your wings, and find your way on your distinctive journey
Readers (college admission officers) have instant access to quantifiable data but they don’t have access to who you are and what you bring to the world. Our job is to help you show them.
Video by Nicolas Tovar
1. College Essay & Writing (US & UK)
Writing an essay is an act of communication. It’s also an act of exploration.
Montaigne used the word essai to describe his writing.
To essay is to try, to attempt, to test something out, to give it a whirl. An essay is not a standardized piece of writing. It’s an open inquiry that reflects the originality of the writer.
Our college essay tutor, Adam Harrison Levy is an experienced writer and documentary filmmaker. His writing has appeared on The Design Observer and in The Guardian. Adam will help you find your authentic voice to write your college essay and ease the process of the college admission essay.
Students we have worked with have gone to Harvard, Emory University, Claremont McKenna College and numerous other top schools.
Our goal is to inspire our students to express the best of themselves, to craft an essay that is authentic and reflects their distinct point of view, and to guide them through the creative choices that will make his or her college essay a standout success.
Rethink your College Essay
Video by Nicolas Tovar
Let Your Emotions Guide your Writing
Marcel Marceau, French actor and mime
2. Memoir Writing
What is the story you want to tell about yourself? How do you write in a way that is compelling, vivid and lasting?
Great memoirs are based on voice -- be it truth-telling, sassy, poignant, or tough. We’ll work on cultivating your distinctive point of view. We’ll also build on the foundations of story-telling: narrative structure, the use of descriptive scene-setting, and dialogue.
These sessions will be individually designed for your writing needs and will be a mixture of one-to-one workshops and asynchronous manuscript annotations.
"To write a memoir means confronting your ghosts, speaking truth to power, and risking vulnerability."
3. Love Literature
Why does literature matter?
This workshop zeroes in on what makes literature great, how it grapples with enduring themes: death, race, family and love. We take Proust, Hemingway, Didion and Baldwin off the shelves, blow the dust from their pages, and dive in through interactive assignments, intensive conversations, and flash writing assignments.
Our approach to literature is that it’s not something to be studied abstractly, but savoured intimately for language, for its nuanced view of human relationships, for its ability to help us reflect more deeply about ourselves. Literature is emotional, challenging, and inspiring. It’s scary and enlightening, just like life.
Ernest Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls by
“I have lived a thousand lives and I’ve loved a thousand loves.
I’ve walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time.
Because I read.”
George R.R. Martin
4. Journalism Bootcamp: Interviewing and the Profile
This two weekend workshop will teach you the skills of interviewing and profile writing.
An interview should feel like a conversation, but it's a conversation with an agenda. An interview draws on two crucial qualities: empathy and listening.
We cover the fundamentals: how to contact your interviewee, conduct background research, how to write and order your questions. Most importantly, through live practice interviews, we learn the craft: listening, following ups, the balance between improvisation and structure.
During the week students must conduct at least one interview with someone who is not a family member nor a friend.
We workshop the interviews. What worked and what didn’t? Was the order and pace of the questions helpful? Were there tangents or silences or a refusal to answer a question? Did you get all the information you needed?
Based on the interview each student writes a 500 word profile which will be workshop in class.
" Adam is an incredible teacher, not because he simply shows or tells me how to write better, but because he pushes and encourages me to develop my writing myself. Adam makes sure his students’ writing is thoughtful and truly reflective of who they are. During that (sometimes grueling) process, Adam is extremely patient and attentive to get the best out of you. Most importantly, the experience is so rewarding because Adam makes you appreciate literature and writing so much. Adam is amazing!! "
A12th grade student, accepted to Harvard
" If I haven’t written I often feel like I haven’t lived."
Adam Harrison Levy