Palo Alto Writing Academy

Who Should Attend?

Whether your middle or high schooler loves to write and devours complex reading texts, or approaches stories and writing assignments with reluctance and a lack of confidence, 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. Summer 2022 Schedule Below.

2022 Summer Schedule

In person at Palo Alto High School; students register for one class

High School Workshop: June 13-17, 2022

Middle School Workshop: June 20-24, 2022

Morning class: 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon class: 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Virtual Workshop: July 25 - 29, 2022

Online class: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

$750 per class
$795 per class (April 1 or later)

Small Classes, Big Learning

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 Middle and High School 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 12th 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 and engage with the language arts. See schedule below.

Register Below

Classes fill quickly and I make every effort to honor your first choice. Once you register, I will get back to you with payment information.


Attendees will master how to think through and write:

  • a concise and targeted thesis statement

  • the opening argument

  • the perfect paragraph

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

  • 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.

Contact Me

I am always happy to answer your questions.


About the Instructor

Lucy Filppu is a published, tenured Teacher of English at Palo Alto High School, where 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 is a certified AP Seminar teacher. Her writing has been published in 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

“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.”

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