The workshop process

One great challenge for many high school seniors applying to college is writing their application essays. The Common App essay is a particularly high-stakes writing requirement that can feel daunting if applicants lack the proper structure and support. There is a myth of writing as a solitary activity requiring monastic isolation and inner struggle. That is at best only half true. Tutor Visions designs workshops that make writing a social, supported, frequently collaborative process. We understand that writing good essays takes more than one sitting or even one day, that writing is an extended process involving various stages and acts. Our workshops in Portland stage this writing process, providing you the structure and guidance to produce authentic essays in your own voice.
Writing Workshops in Portland
Writing Workshops in Portland

Summer college essay writing workshops in Portland

Writing College Application Essays

This summer, we are scheduling four one-week workshops in Portland with the goal for students that they complete their Common App essay. These one-week workshops meet Monday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The workshops will take place the following weeks in June and July:

Register here:

The workshops will take place at Urban Office, 4949 SW Macadam Avenue, 2nd floor, Portland, OR, 97239. This workshop provides students the structure, direction, and expert support they need to produce well-written, insightful, and revealing Common App essays that make an impression on college admissions committees. 

Workshop guidance

Students’ writing is nurtured in a supportive workshop environment providing empathic and strategic guidance.

Students go through a one-week process in which they write multiple drafts to arrive at a finished form.

They do “flow writing” to generate ideas and details while suspending the impulse to edit prematurely for correctness.

They honor their voice, trusting the words that come from them.

They share their drafts in low-stakes meetings with peers and one-on-one conferences with the instructor who reads all their work with scrupulous care.

They use these collaborative processes to unlock and activate untapped expressive potential.

They study narrative techniques they can use in crafting their essays as stories.

They adopt intentional strategies in undertaking thorough revision of their drafts.

They edit for structure, clarity, and usage to take their writing to a finished form.

They complete the workshop having written an essay that tells college admissions officers something vital about themselves.

Writing Workshops in Portland

Workshop leader

As the workshop leader, David Wolf has twenty-five years of teaching and writing tutoring experience, including eleven years at a distinguished New Jersey preparatory school where he tutored hundreds of students writing their Common App essay. David has also taught for many years at universities, including at Portland State University’s Honors College where as an Instructor he taught successful workshops for seniors writing their honors theses. Read more about David’s teaching background and philosophy.
David spent a great deal of time with both of my kids helping them with ideas for their college essay and with the fine tuning. He's an excellent resource. The applicants still do their own work (which I find important) and David steps in with great guidance promoting self-thinking and bringing out great ideas that the applicants might have a hard time putting in writing otherwise.
Susanne Pries, Parent