“Do you love to write? Get ready for 2013 summer programs”

Are you an aspiring writer; and if so, do you want to perfect your skills next summer?

There are several 2013 writing programs that have announced their schedule; most notably, at the campuses of Kenyon College, Dension University, and Smith College.  If you read my last article regarding 2013 summer enrichment opportunities, I mentioned that many of the selective programs have early application deadline dates, so if interested, start exploring your options very soon.

Kenyon College is a private, liberal arts institution in Gambier, Ohio; approximately 45 miles from Columbus.  The Young Writers Workshop is for high school students, ages 16-18. It is an intensive two-week workshop for intellectually curious, creative, and highly motivated high school students who want to enhance their writing skills. The program’s goal is to help participants become better, more productive writers, and more engaged thinkers. Kenyon College is renowned for its tradition of literary study. The program is sponsored by The Kenyon Review, one of the country’s distinguished literary magazines.

The Young Writers Workshop is a two-week residential program, offered June 23-July 6 and July 14-27.  The application site for Young Writers will open January, 2013.  In addition to this form, each student must also submit a brief story or essay (not to exceed 300 words) that summarizes interest for participating in the program, as well as proposed contribution to the workshop. A teacher’s letter of recommendation, a high school transcript, and an optional financial aid application must also be postmarked and/or submitted electronically no later than March 1, 2013.

Kenyon offers the Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for high school sophomores and juniors, also sponsored by The Kenyon Review.  The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize is a competitive opportunity to qualify for the summer Young Writers Workshop.  The winning poem and runners-up will be chosen by the Kenyon Review staff and earn presentation in the KR publication. Additionally, the winner is offered a full scholarship to the 2013 Young Writers Workshop.

There are only 7 more days left to submit a poem! The site will close on November 30, 2012. Applicants should submit one poem through the online submissions program. There is no entry fee.

Denison University is located in Granville, Ohio; approximately 27 miles from Columbus.  They sponsor the Jonathan R. Reynolds Young Writers Workshop, now in its eighteenth year.  The program is open to current sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  It is an eight-day residential summer program that offers collaboration with professional poets, fiction and nonfiction writers on Denison’s campus. The program dates are June 23 to 30, 2013.

Visit the Reynolds Young Writers website at reynolds.denison.edu, where you will find full details about the program, photo galleries, a blog, and downloadable application forms. This year’s applications must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2013.

Smith College is a private, liberal arts women’s institution located in Northampton, MA.  It is a member of the Five College Consortium.  Smith College is located approximately 20 miles from Hartford, CT.  One of the five residential 2013 Pre College Programs for Girls is the Young Women’s Writing Workshop.

Smith’s Young Women’s Writing Workshop focuses on poetry, creative writing, creative fiction, and reporting and writing for radio, just to name a few. Participants are given the chance to work with published authors, lay the groundwork for a strong writing portfolio, and learn the steps involved in becoming a published writer.  The application site will be available January, 2013 and forms must be submitted online.

Application deadlines: A lesson learned from Hurricane Sandy

As east coast residents, particularly from South Carolina to Maine, try to rebound from the recent weather calamity, many high school seniors are trying to desperately puzzle together the completion of their college applications, with hopes they can meet the deadline date. According to NACAC and other sources, many colleges are extending their November 1st deadline for Early Decision, Early Action and Priority applicants who were affected by the storm.

As with most of life’s experiences, one cannot help but wonder if there might be a lesson to be learned from Sandy regarding the significance of time management. Even if not for the demonstrative force of the weather’s aftermath, there would still be seniors in the same predicament; racing to beat the November 1st deadline. I observed it for thirty years as a school counselor, and I continue to see it now, as an educational consultant. Why is this happening?

Of course most teens think in the “present tense” and assume nothing out-of-the ordinary will happen. Listen up my friends, now is the time to think out-of-the box and allow that annoying gut feeling of “what if,” to jump start your engine and allow extra time before due dates. It could be projects, tests, quizzes, and in the case of seniors, college applications.

I know teens don’t always think about the potential threat of weather affecting a deadline date, as in the case of the recent ED/EA situation, but now you know it can happen. Whenever I bring up the likelihood of a snowstorm possibly causing havoc for December and January deadlines, thus encouraging seniors to finish applications as soon as possible, my advice is heard, but not heeded.

However, I have had more success encouraging them to submit online applications at least two weeks prior to the deadline date, in case there is a system crash. Now that piece of advice is taken more seriously, because they can identify with technology, and they know the consequence is a reality. The possibility of inclement weather just doesn’t send out alarms of concern to a teen.

It appears that seniors with the right zip code will be spared some heartache, provided their November 1st deadline college(s) will extend the deadline date. For those of you with November 15th, December 1st, January 1st and January 15th deadlines, step up to the plate and finish your applications. You never know what will happen; and if nothing does, that’s even better. You can at least move on with your life as you enjoy the rest of your senior year. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget the lesson you learned from “Sandy” after graduation; take it with you to college…you will need it!!

Do you know your school counselor?

This is a question I frequently pose to students (and their parents) when I conduct college planning programs, and it’s one of the questions I pose to new clients in my practice. And another question is, “Does your school counselor know you?”

As a veteran school counselor of thirty years, one of my priorities was always to attempt to see my counselees regularly (3-4 times) each year during high school. Is it easy? Absolutely not, so I counted on them to help. I encouraged them to schedule an appointment to see me, if time lapsed over two months since our last meeting.

Suppose your counselor hasn’t met you. What should you do? Then schedule an appointment to introduce or “re-introduce” yourself to him/her. Simply say, “It’s been a while since we’ve chatted and I’d like to update you on what I’ve been doing.” Another approach is, “I’ve been thinking about colleges and careers and I’d like to talk to you about it.”  Or, take the initiative to ask for academic help.

It’s easier for us to write letters of recommendation when we know more about you than just your GPA and test scores. Colleges will find this information on your transcript and school secondary report form, so help us share information about you that will be impressive, not redundant.

MITES: Minority Introduction to Engineering & Science

MITES is a summer enrichment program at MIT that introduces juniors/prospective seniors to engineering and science careers by offering three options for participation. Promising students are selected for a one-week residential program, six-week residential program, or a six-month online program.  The curriculum is rigorous in order to adequately prepare students for the expectations of these academic programs at the collegiate level.

The program is free, except for transportation to/from MIT, thanks to generous donors.  This is an outstanding experience that gives students, interested in STEM, an opportunity to take college level courses and explore engineering and science programs prior to matriculation.  The program is highly competitive and requires recommendations from teachers, so if interested, do not wait until the last minute.

The MITES 2013 application is due January 15, 2013.