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Writing Personal Essays: Tap Into Your Unique Voice

Mentor with a passionate, professional writer to learn the art of writing an essay.


Whether it's an application essay, or an essay for school, writing an important personal essay for the first (or fortieth!) time can be challenging. Every decision feels weighty, from choosing the topic, to sorting out what to include and what to leave out, all the way to adding final touches with confidence.


But what if by learning to write a personal essay, your child gained:
  • Confidence and perspective about their unique strengths
  • Practical skills and strategies to make future essay writing more streamlined and effective
  • The can-do optimism that comes from successfully meeting a challenge head-on

What if during this application season, instead of struggling and worrying, your child gained a greater sense of identity and purpose?

It may sound too good to be true, but I assure you, learning to communicate your heart on the page is a powerful experience.

At Society of Young Inklings, we’ve been helping youth writers move the big ideas from their hearts and their heads onto the page for over ten years. During that time, we’ve worked with many exceptional fifth graders, and have refined a tried-and-true process to help youth master the art of the personal essay.

We’ve crafted that process into a learning experience called Writing Personal Essays: Tap Into Your Unique Voice.

This program is offered in two tiers.

The Independent Study course includes:
  • Eight video lessons with hands-on activities that teach youth to choose an idea, structure their essay, and bring it to life with specific, lively language.
  • A step-by-step workbook
Plus two bonuses:
  • An in-depth how-to video lesson on planning, drafting, and polishing an essay during a timed test
  • A courage-boosting activity to help youth writers face down their inner critics

The Mentor-Facilitated course includes:
  • The Independent Study course
  • A personalized study plan
  • Six weekly 45-minute sessions online via Zoom with a mentor

Skills built in the course include:
  • Quickly choosing a meaningful topic
  • Breaking a topic into three main ideas
  • Crafting a thesis statement
  • Developing a strong introductory paragraph
  • Shaping a body paragraph
  • Using concrete, well-chosen examples
  • Wrapping up with a memorable conclusion

What others have to say:

A mom of a recent fifth grade Inkling said, My fifth grade son is a strong writer, but he struggled to organize essays, and worried especially about completing an essay in a test situation in a short amount of time. In his sessions, he practiced choosing ideas, organizing his thoughts, and revising for flow — in a playful way. In fact, he told me, ‘That was surprisingly fun!’ after the first session. Now, he has built his confidence and improved greatly.


Let's get started!

Is the Independent Study track the right choice for you? Great! Purchase below and you can get started as soon as you like.

Do you prefer the personalized coaching of the mentor-guided track? Purchase below and then watch your email for more instructions on scheduling your six sessions. We have time slots available each weekday afternoon and our mentors are ready and waiting to work with your child. While your sessions are getting scheduled, your writer can get started on the independent study portion of the learning experience so there's no delay.


We offer a 100% money-back guarantee.
If the course doesn’t work for your writer, all you have to do is email us and let us know why it didn’t work for them. We’ll refund your tuition right away. The only exception for refunds would be for any mentorship sessions that have already occurred.


Your Instructor


Naomi Kinsman
Naomi Kinsman

Author of the From Sadie’s Sketchbook Series and Spilled Ink, the award-winning Inklings Writers’ Notebook, Naomi is passionate about sharing her love of writing and creativity with young writers. Naomi’s background in improvisational and story theatre as well as her arts education work in Chicago, Portland, and the Bay Area has convinced her that creative play is a doorway through which learners can find inspiration and transformative learning experiences.

Naomi loves to play in many ways, but some of her favorites are tap-dancing, sketching, experimenting in the kitchen and tag with her Portuguese Water Dog, Turley. Naomi has a BA in Theatre Arts from Seattle Pacific University and has studied theatre with the Piven Theatre Workshop and ACT. She also has a Masters in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University.


Course Curriculum


  START HERE
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  WEEK TWO: Structuring Your Essay
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  WEEK THREE: Drafting Body Paragraphs
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  WEEK FOUR: Writing Introductions and Conclusions
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  BONUS MATERIAL
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
Do I have permission to share the course with my classroom?
Yes! As an educator, your access to the course is considered a classroom license. Should a colleague want to use the material in their classroom, we ask that they purchase their own copy. Additionally, should your students want to access the material at home, their parents should sign up independently. This policy helps us support students in their independent study, and maintain their safe interaction with Society of Young Inklings' online programs. We do offer partial and full need-based scholarships. For scholarship assistance, contact [email protected] and mention the course title in your email.

Get started now!