High School Writers Studio

The High School Writers Studio will help students craft a personal narrative essay that opens college doors and nurture their writing abilities with fun and creative activities in a supportive college writing community.

Applications are available HERE. HSWS APPLICATION (UVA APPROVED)

(Instructions: Download, Complete, Save, and Email back to Emily Dotson ead2y@uvawise.edu)

High School Writers Studio 2019: Personal Narratives That Open Doors

UVA-Wise Campus

10:00am-2:00pm  June 10-14, 2019 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday)

Sponsored by The Appalachian Writing Project and Wise Writes


This one week program provides high school writers at all grade levels and writing abilities a supportive way to learn more about themselves and their goals as they get a jump start on writing the personal narrative college application essay. Even confident writers who enjoy writing often fear the personal narrative, but, this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, a personal narrative essay can help a writer discover who they are and what they value even as it teaches them how to best present themselves to the world.  For this reason, it is a useful skill for all writers throughout their life. This fully supervised workshop (with a free lunch) provides young writers a positive college experience and an opportunity to learn writing strategies proven to produce good writing. We will start the day with a writing workshop and a time to reflect and write. We will have lunch together then visit an inspiring spot on campus for another workshop. We will end each day with a thought provoking short writing prompt, which will be homework for the night. Students will learn about the importance of a hook or anecdote, how to craft careful sentences full of the sensory details and precise wording, and how to master the humble brag (a hard task for nice people!). Students will get encouragement and feedback in a friendly community that warmly welcomes everyone.


Enrollment is open to anyone including home schooled students who will be a high school student in Wise County in 2019-2020. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until full. UVA-Wise does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations including the High School Writing Program. We value diversity and strive to be a welcoming space all students.


Students must submit this application packet and a 300-500 word introduction essay (see application) to be considered eligible for the program. Lunch is provided every day for free.  Students don’t need to bring anything except a favorite pen and a light jacket or sweater for labs, which can get chilly in summer. Students should wear comfortable shoes as we will do some walking.  Computers will be provided so laptops are not necessary.  Please note that we will be working primarily in a campus lab and food and drinks are not allowed in campus labs.


The workshops are taught by Emily Dotson, PhD. Emily  has more than two decades of experience in teaching and was the winner of the University of Kentucky’s Provost Award for Teaching, the highest award given for teaching at UK.   At the University of Virginia’s College at Wise she is the Director of Wise Writes, a writing in the disciplines QEP and an Assistant Professor of English.

Email ead2y@uvawise.edu for more information.

Applications will be available HERE starting June 1st.