Students do not become great writers overnight. However, by teaching a process, implementing a few key skills, and emphasizing certain habits of mind, we help students become more productive writers and take ownership of any writing task they encounter. We look forward to helping Chicago students sharpen their writing skills.

The Writer’s Practice Workshop & Blog

There’s more to writing than the five-paragraph essay that many students experience in school. This course will open students’ eyes to the world that writers inhabit — where they consider their audience, work through a process, develop writerly habits and choose topics they’re passionate about. The course steers participants toward concepts and prompts that will help build their confidence and enjoyment as writers.

Writer, speaker, and college writing instructor John Warner, author of “The Writer’s Practice: Building Confidence In Your Nonfiction Writing” joins the Educational Endeavors team to lead this five-session workshop where students brainstorm, create, workshop, revise and edit a blog post that will be published on the web. Students entering grades 9 through 12 will learn valuable skills that will help them with any school writing assignment.

Schedule & Cost:



Online (Zoom & Google Classroom)

College Essays 101 (grades 11-12)

Students often feel overwhelmed facing the college application process while keeping up with rigorous course loads and busy extracurricular schedules. The essay portion of an application can be particularly daunting. When students sit down to write they may feel stumped by common questions like…

  • What is the prompt even asking me?
  • What are admissions officers looking for?
  • Isn’t it awkward to write about myself and my positive qualities?
  • The stakes are so high, how can I make my essay stand out from the rest?
  • Can I admit to mistakes or character flaws? How honest should I be?
  • I have so much to say; how can I fit it all into a 300- or 500-word limit?

These questions and more will be answered in College Essays 101. We take the guesswork out of college essays and put students at ease with the writing process. This seminar series will…

  • Bust the myths around college essay expectations
  • Point out common mistakes and how to avoid them
  • Help students discover an angle and a voice to make their essays authentic and original
  • Provide tips for altering a single essay so it works for multiple schools’ prompts
Schedule & Cost:

To be announced.


Online (Zoom & Google Classroom)

View the detailed curriculum here.
Week 1:
  • Myths and pitfalls of college essays (what colleges do and do not want to see)
  • An essay like no other – you’ve never written like this before
  • Dissecting the prompt – what are they really asking?
  • Choosing a topic – brainstorming techniques
Week 2:
  • Writing a standout essay with honest content and a strong voice
  • Winning essay samples
  • The formula for organization
  • Drafting
Week 3:
  • Making sure you’ve answered all parts of the prompt
  • Narrowing your focus
  • Choosing an attention-grabber
  • Dealing with word limits
Week 4:
  • Asking for feedback
  • Revision
Week 5:
  • Polishing the draft: syntax and diction
  • Adapting the essay to use on other applications
  • Working with other prompts
Week 6:
  • Reviewing the process
  • Responding to a new prompt with another essay