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Columbia Writing Academy: Spring

February 5–15, 2024
Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
7:00 p.m.–8:15 p.m.

Columbia Writing Academy: Writing for College Success

The Columbia Writing Academy is designed for high school students who know that writing is the key to college success and want to develop their own personal voice and expand their writing skills before starting college. Through a combination of workshops and tutorials, exercises and assignments, students will practice the fundamental skills for writing successful college essays—developing a position to argue, persuading readers, anticipating counterarguments, and crafting strong sentences. Students will explore each stage in the writing process—brainstorming, drafting, revising—and will receive in-depth feedback at each stage of the process.  By the end of the course, students will have practiced the major skills of successful college writing and have written a college-level essay.

The Academy will be a lively two-week online course that requires six to eight hours of work each week, including reading, writing, and participating in three synchronous Zoom sessions each week. The synchronous sessions will be held on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 7:00 p.m.–8:15 p.m. ET, and will include seminar-style discussions and writing workshops.

Course Dates

February 5–15, 2024

Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
7:00 p.m.–8:15 p.m.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to do the following:

Think like a writer. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of texts, the rhetorical techniques writers commonly use in crafting them, and how such techniques affect and appeal to specific readers’ interests and expectations. 

Write like a college student. Understand the conventions and expectations of the college essay and practice the fundamental skills for writing successful essays.

Read like an editor. Use the feedback of peers and their seminar leader to write and revise successfully, and to examine their writing decisions, preferences, strengths, and challenges.


Dr. Nancy Sommers is a prize-winning writer and teacher who created the Columbia Writing Academy. 

She assembled a select group of talented, experienced writers and writing instructors to lead the program with an unwavering commitment to their students’ success.

Read Dr. Sommers' bio

Registration Details

The Columbia Writing Academy is offered as a course within the Academic Year Weekend program; be sure to select this program when applying. Due to the importance of focused time with individual students, the admissions committee looks for exceptional students eager to contribute original ideas and a spirit of intellectual curiosity to a community of enthusiastic learners.

Program Costs

Program costs are subject to Board of Trustee approval and may change.   

Program Cost: $2,810 per session (single course registration)  

The amount above includes the fee for the program itself along with activity, health services, and technology fees. The Columbia Writing Academy is offered through the Academic Year Weekend program. Please visit the Academic Enrichment Cost and Fees page for cost details; costs align with the costs listed under "Academic Year Weekend (10-Weeks)" program.  

The non-refundable $500 deposit, due upon notification of acceptance to the program, is credited toward this cost. Not included are the application fee ($80). Students are advised to budget at least $50 toward course materials, such as textbooks and supplies.

View Cost Details 


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If you would like to be part of the Columbia Writing Academy, be sure to select the course when applying for the Online Academic Year Program.

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