Ellen Kolba, In Your Own Voice


The title says it all. This is the book that shows students how to write essays that showcase what is unique about them and what they have to offer to the colleges of their choice.

Hailed as a ground-breaking text—one that offers the kind of help that parents pay large sums to experts for—In Your Own Voice lays out the various techniques our students used in working through their drafts, from their first efforts to decide on a topic to their final polished submissions. Following alongside them, users of the book practice the same techniques. When they finish, they have not only learned how to write successful essays—they have acquired a set of valuable writing skills, skills they will take with them into college.

For more than twenty years, Kolba and Crowell have helped college-bound students get accepted into such large, top-ranked institutions as Columbia and Brown, as well as into prestigious small colleges like Wesleyan, Oberlin, and Sarah Lawrence. Every student has gotten into the college of his or her choice.

Ellen D. Kolba and Sheila C. Crowell are the founders of the Writers Room Program, created for Montclair Schools in 1993. In addition to her private practice, Kolba is a volunteer writing coach at Montclair’s IMANI College Advocacy Center, a no-cost program for students of color to help them gain admission to college or post-secondary education. Kolba, a graduate of Oberlin, earned a Master’s Degree from NYU and a teaching certification from Montclair State University. 

Jessica de Koninck is a retired attorney who has served as legislative director for the New Jersey Department of Education, fellow at the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy at Thomas Edison State University and counsel to the Trenton and South Orange/Maplewood Public Schools. Twice elected to the Montclair Township Council she has also served on the library board and is a current member of the Montclair Board of Education. A writer and poet, she is the author of one full length collection, Cutting Room (Terrapin Books) and one chapbook, Repairs (Finishing Line Press). Her poems and articles have been featured in The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, Diode, The Paterson Literary Review and The Valparaiso Poetry Review.

Event date: 
Wednesday, September 9, 2020 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
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