Summer 2024

Palo Alto Writing Academy

Who Should Attend?

Learning to write well is more important than ever. In this era of smart phone texting, AI writing and quick comment social media, high school students imprint the wrong habits. Summer is the perfect time to make a difference.

Whether your student approaches stories and writing assignments with reluctance and a lack of confidence, or loves to write and is bored in English class, the program offers differentiated, personalized instruction for a range of learners. Expect your student to be pushed to reach new skill and thinking levels. All students receive a deep library of texts, a range of teaching videos and handouts along with precise, targeted and ongoing feedback on their writing throughout the week.  

2024 Summer Schedule

*Please note: only one week of classes this summer. Sign up early!

Morning class 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - full

Afternoon class 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - filling fast

July 22 - 26 High School Workshop

(Grades 8 - 11)

All classes will be on Zoom

Meet Ms. Filppu!

Falling Literacy Rates

Students must know how to read and write effectively in order to compete in today’s changing world. Yet according to the 2019 National Assessment of Educational progress (NAEP), literacy scores for eighth graders (the iPhone generation) are declining across almost all demographics.

Get Ahead This Summer

In the Essay Writing Workshops, students turn off their phones and turn on their brains to the world of reading, writing and critical thinking. The Essay Workshop is an intensive one-week summer program designed to help students master the components of reading comprehension and analytical essay writing.

Real Teaching, Not Tutoring

Now in its 15th year and taught by a veteran high school educator, the essay workshop is based on years of real classroom experience about how teenagers actually learn the language arts.

Register Below

Classes fill quickly! Once you register, I will get back to you with payment information.


Attendees will master how to think through and write:

  • analysis that moves beyond plot summary and includes a close reading of literary devices

  • synthesis of key ideas, showcasing the ability to trace patterns in texts

  • concise and targeted thesis statements

  • opening arguments that cogently communicate a roadmap of evidence

  • the perfect paragraph with relevant points

  • logical, grammatically correct sentences

  • Your student will receive precise, targeted and ongoing feedback on their writing throughout the week.

  • Your student will read and analyze a range of engaging, challenging and diverse texts.

  • Repeat students will be given new texts each year!

Contact Me

I am always happy to answer your questions.


About the Instructor

Lucy Filppu is a published, tenured Teacher of English, AP Seminar and Creative Writing at Palo Alto High School. She has taught a range of complex texts and writing strategies to every grade level, in addition to launching two new English electives. She is trained in blended online content delivery and her writing has been published in Flash Fiction Forum, Bright Magazine and The New York Times. She earned a B.A. in Communications from UCLA; a M.A. in Creative Writing and Literature from NYU; and attended Columbia Teacher’s College and San Jose State University for her teaching credential.

Parent Testimonials

“I have three solid college essay drafts going into Senior year. Thank you Ms. Filppu!”

“My student returned three times to write with Ms. Filppu.  Her techniques are outstanding.”

“Our son loved Ms. Filppu’s enthusiasm, and the way she teaches reading and writing. He was more than ready for 9th grade.”

We use cookies to improve your experience and to help us understand how you use our site. Please refer to our cookie notice and privacy policy for more information regarding cookies and other third-party tracking that may be enabled.


© 2024 Palo Alto Writing Academy

Intuit Mailchimp logo