Taking care of the writing by taking care of the writer

Our Story
Blue hand reaching for a pencil, with a bird flying by.
photo: close-up of hand writing in notebook
foldable map

Instructive Companionship

The path from idea to final draft involves acts of imagination, honesty, precision, and revision. At the core of our practice are the instructive interactions we design to inspire and align these acts.

OUR PRACTICE

photo, two Hillside coaches looking at laptop and talking.

Creative Insight

Each Hillside coach is an accomplished writer, teacher, and editor responsive to the emotional experiences of writing. We model close attention and honest self-reflection.

OUR COACHES

Ways to Work with Hillside

Our coaching services reflect our belief in writing as a lifelong pursuit.

Our support for college-app writers ranges from single exploratory sessions to comprehensive one-on-one courses. We also support other applicants.

We cultivate a lively and imaginative artistic connection that is serious about pursuing the art of writing with fun and inventive approaches.

boy in room with computer and notebook, writing.

Whether providing a new writer with instruction and inspiration or an established author with feedback and direction, we uncover opportunities for progress.

African American woman leaning against tree and writing in notebook.

In live talks, webinars, and junior class workshops, founder Allan Reeder opens fresh ways of seeing and thinking for students embarking on college-app writing.

Founder Allan Reader giving a talk, standing in front of a screen with an illustration of a brain surrounded by the words: objects, images

What Clients Are Writing About Hillside Support

I was blown away by what Hillside helped my son to accomplish. I wasn't privy to anything but the final work. His essay really captures his personality. I almost had tears reading it. He is not a kid who uses superlatives, but he raved about the assistance and advice. I can't thank you enough for all your help.
Parent, Newbury, MA
Thank you so much for all of your help, support, and encouragement in this challenging time for me. It meant a lot to know that you believed in me and in what I had to say. I will always laugh at that pessimistic kid who said he did not have anything to write about.
Student, Lexington, MA
I really appreciate your focus on process. You've encouraged my daughter to slow down, and in doing so allowed space for reflection and self-discovery. I think that with teenagers, especially girls, the tendency is to deflect attention away from yourself. Looking inward is inherently more challenging.
Parent, Sudbury, MA
You’ve been an invaluable mentor, kindling in me a passion not only for words but also for the often overlooked images in daily life and complexities in characters. Thank you for your meticulous and innovative coaching!
Writer, Los Angeles, CA
Our son feels that his writing has improved enormously from working with you. His confidence has certainly been boosted. What a great experience for him!
Parent, Belmont, MA

Seeking support for a college applicant in 2023?

Join our outreach list for updates about support options, course scheduling, and events.

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The Latest from Hillside

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At our new online home, we’re delighted to share how we look at writing and what it can mean for the writer. Our decade of coaching has deepened our belief in the enduring personal growth a writer experiences in the journey between the blank page and the final draft.

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Fall College-App Essay Support

Every fall, we hear from parents who tell us that — despite everyone’s best intentions — their senior did not write a college-application essay during summer vacation. Or maybe they did, but they’d like specific feedback to help them strengthen their draft. Our coaches can still help!

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Why the Particulars Matter

I tend to ask a lot of questions, especially of college-application writers. If you’re talking about preparing for a robotics competition, then I want to know where your team gathered, what songs you jammed to while you drew the designs, and the fact that you nicknamed the robot “Sparky.”

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