A successful brainstorming workshop

Six rising seniors attended today’s workshop in Westford, Mass., and what a rewarding experience it was.

The students left having written their opening paragraphs for their college application essays with an assignment to write the rest by Sunday, July 3.

It’s a tall order since all are going away for the holiday. But some said they’d find a short period to break away and write the story. All have the option of sending me their first draft for feedback and further direction.

Grammar, spelling, organization — none of that matters at this point. The goal is to have a beginning, middle and end. Add some tension, a transformational paragraph and a kicker (strong ending). Show how you resolved a problem or persevered when the odds were against you. Make yourself stand out in an admissions officer’s memory.

I honestly love learning about the students as the workshop progresses and they reveal more of themselves. As the layers of self-protection peel away, we come closer to finding a solid essay topic that illustrates something meaningful about them. Their genuineness is so inspiring and uplifting. I see their bright futures ahead.

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