Young writers put the Say back in Essay at Writopia Lab!
Through Writopia’s teaching method, students overcome the fear of writing an essay and discover writing as an empowering activity that requires creative thinking and clear expression. Writers learn to research topics, engage in close readings, analyze evidence, craft arguments, and structure and organize their ideas.
We ask young writers to express what they believe and think. Every essay written, be it for school or extracurricular, is a chance to authentically express oneself. We challenge writers to think critically as they develop their ideas and offer them the tools to effectively present and organize their arguments. When students discover personal investment in their writing, along with a refined writers' toolkit, they have a stronger chance at becoming lifelong writers.
Youth Essay Writing Conference
At this conference, the next generation of thinkers, writers, and leaders share the ideas and research that they are most passionate about with a panel of their peers and the community at large. The panels form organically from a pool of critical essays we receive from writers ages 12-18 from all over the New York Tri-State area, which serve to underscore the concerns and commentary of the next generation. Click here to find out how to participate!
Engaging Creativity to Enhance Essays
We highly recommend, and at times require, that students first enroll in a Writopia Lab creative writing workshop before transitioning to essay writing. Students in school often feel disconnected from the essay writing experience and from writing itself. Our fun, student-centered creative writing workshops offer an opportunity for children and teens to become reinvigorated and deeply connected to the writing experience, poised to enter the essay writing workshop with greater enthusiasm. Then, we continue to integrate creative writing activities and culture into our essay writing workshops. Critical and analytical thinking that goes into creative writing helps writers develop skills they need to become strong essay writers. We infuse workshops with creative writing games: 50 percent essay and 50 percent creative. We encourage writers to approach essay writing with creativity, liberty, and their unique personality.
When we promise creativity and joy to our essay writers, we don't mean to suggest that writers should subvert the form of an essay. We give our writers the tools to succeed in middle school, high school, and college. We stress the importance of a thesis statement and clear structure in an essay.
Participants often choose to explore and write on topics including, but not limited to, history, humanities, social sciences, politics, and sciences. They also come to workshop to receive preparation for essay writing on exams, admissions applications, or school assignments.
Come join the Writopia Lab Debate team and explore controversial topics, formulate strong arguments, and debate with your peers. In this workshop, writers will dive deeply into big-picture ideas as they relate to real-world events and learn tools for evaluating topics from various angles. Debaters will be split into teams and prepare written and oral arguments for their side. The debaters will go head to head and toe to toe, hashing out the arguments they’ve developed and ideas they’ve championed, in a friendly, competitive, and joyous final debate on the last session, where families are invited to watch.
Personal Essay & Memoir
In Personal Essay & Memoir Workshops, writers will practice the art of storytelling about themselves and what is most important to them. We recommend these workshops for freshmen and sophomores interested in practicing their writing for admissions. Our workshops introduce writers to creative non-fiction genres and increase their comfort and confidence in writing about themselves.
Workshops and Private Sessions
Students can receive essay writing instruction at Writopia through the Essay Writing Workshop or Private Sessions. Workshops have a maximum of six participants. Essay writing programs are only available to students who are 10 and older.
The goal for each writer is to develop an essay with a coherent and meaningful argument. Sessions are peppered with original and vibrant writing exercises, but focus primarily on exploring essay topics, drafting, completing, revising, and polishing essays. When coming up with project ideas, writers can choose subject matter that interest them.
In the interdisciplinary essay writing workshops, writers brainstorm ideas, explore material, work to use fluid language opposed to stilted language, and discuss the logic of various structural choices and the virtues of applying key literary tools.
“Our teen is thoroughly enjoying Writopia, and we are seeing it translate into better work at his school. His teachers are commenting on how good his writing is this year, and he seems to be much more confident in his abilities... so thank you!”Mother of 13-year-old