Schools and Groups

Allan Reeder speaking in front of a group, with people listening.
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Talks and Workshops on the College Application Essay

In live talks, webinars, and junior class workshops, founder Allan Reeder opens fresh and profitable ways of seeing and thinking for writers embarking on the essay-writing project.


Allan Reeder holds a clicker in front of a screen displaying two people at desks.
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The Common App Essay Talk

With a case-study approach, Allan invites attendees to enter the sentences and the evolving sensibilities of past college applicants who have progressed beyond the worry about having to say something significant and into the confidence of having something specific and meaningful to say.

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Junior Class Workshops

Workshop I

Students learn ways of sharing their experiences that close the distance between writer and reader.

Between Workshops

Students begin to write about promising areas of experience with The 3-Sentence Jumpstart.

Workshop II

Allan engages directly with students’ sentences and explores the stories behind them.

Core Teachings

It’s a request, not a test.

The Common App essay prompts are not test questions but open requests from an audience eager to listen. 

See and be seen.

Admissions officers are no different from other readers: they want to be transported; they want to see images in the mind. Essay writers, therefore, must first endeavor to see their own experience. 

Authenticity is in discovery.

It’s not only okay to begin from a place of uncertainty — it’s important! An essay becomes engagingly credible when the process of writing reveals something true about the writer to the writer. 

Forget the essay. Gather moments.

Set aside the essay prompts and, instead, gather specific moments of experience.
All students are provided with a writing exercise focused on beginning.