Back to School

Posted: August 19, 2014



Hello everyone! I hope you had a safe and relaxing and joyous summer. It’s that time of year again. I have decided to do things a bit differently this time around. Ms. Scribbles’ Workshop will be open this semester from October 1 – December 6 with a break during the week of Thanksgiving. So, you can sign up your child for a 30-day workshop anytime during that window, or you can sign them up for a two month workshop for the duration of that period. Email me if you would like to enroll and reserve your spot today! This is for the individualized workshops I offer through Ms. Scribbles’ Workshop, in which I work with the student on a one-on-one basis via email. We can choose our own projects, pace, and focus, depending on the students’ writing goals, strengths, weaknesses and needs. Read this website to learn more about the individualized workshops!

In addition to that, for those homeschoolers who might be looking for a more formal writing course and a classroom-type setting, I thought I would also mention that I am teaching 12th grade Creative Writing this year over at Kolbe’s Online Academy. You can read the details here. This runs September through May. Kolbe emphasizes imitation, in line with the classical mode of instruction, so this is also like a literature course in which we are going to read a lot of great poems and stories together.

There are benefits to both of course: writing classes and writing workshops. You get a bit more literature and camaraderie in a class, and this probably more easily qualifies for credit on a high school transcript, but you get more individualized attention and flexibility in a workshop. The workshops also work well for students who are enrolled in a traditional school, as they are something kids can do “on the side,” like an extracurricular activity, whereas classes are much more demanding, probably too demanding if you are already taking a full course load through a traditional school. You can sign up for my workshops by emailing me. You can sign up for the Creative Writing class by getting in touch with Kolbe. Oh! There is one more difference. Kolbe Academy is a Catholic school. While Ms. Scribbles’ Workshop welcomes and embraces young writers of all faiths, there is no particular religious bent to the workshops. I hope this didn’t totally confuse you! Feel free to email me if you have any questions about what might be best for your student.

Help Catholic families in Atlanta!

Posted: July 31, 2014

You can help jump start an education revolution! Saint John Bosco Academy is on a mission to raise $750,000 by September 1 to buy a new building for their Catholic hybrid school in North Atlanta.

The innovative hybrid school blends the best of home education and the best of the traditional classroom environment. It works so well that they have outgrown their current location (where I taught!)  They need to raise funds for a permanent home!  Please help!  They have grown from 40 to almost 250 students in 5 years. Currently, they lease space from a Christian school whose enrollment is also growing.  They no longer have the space to rent to SJBA! They need to act quickly and they need your help to raise funds for a permanent location. See their donation page here.


St. John Bosco Academy from SJBA on Vimeo.

In Atlanta area?

Posted: April 22, 2014

This summer I will be running an intensive, in-person, five-paragraph essay workshop for the most intrepid 8th and 9th graders in Atlanta.

What: five paragraph essay boot camp!

When: Friday mornings in JulyThe Donut Corporation vintage ad

Where: Sandy Springs

Why: Because it will make the school year less painful.

How are you going to get students to do this on Friday mornings in the summer? Um…donuts?

Email me for details!


New Student, New Slogan?

Posted: February 25, 2014

I received an introductory email from a new student this morning, and it really made me smile. He writes:

“I like the subject reading and writing. I like writing because I have so much stuff going on in my head. I write so my head does not explode! I like writing.”

Ms. Scribbles’ Workshop: Keeping kids’ heads from exploding since 2011.

Summer Course

Posted: February 18, 2014

I am excited to be teaching an online course this summer for students grades 10-12 on The Hunger Games and Christian Nonviolence through Kolbe Academy. Click here to read a full course description.


How to Disagree Civilly

Posted: January 15, 2014

I wrote a post today for the Kolbe Academy blog on “How to Disagree Civilly” and the importance of tone in written communication. victorianWe live in a digital world where so much of our communication is happening through writing. With so many social networks and online classes, with so many opportunities to converse and debate with a wide range of people, it seems we should be ushering in a new era in which the exchange of ideas is encouraged and appreciated more than ever! Unfortunately, potentially productive debates and disagreements, especially when they happen in online forums, on comments boards, or through email, quickly devolve into petty squabbles and pseudo-intellectual jousting matches, leading to contentiousness, hostility, dismissiveness, and derision. This article includes some helpful tips on how to maintain a tone of civility in your written words in this world of digital discourse!

I’m still here!

Posted: September 23, 2013

Hello! I have started a new part-time job teaching with Kolbe Academy in the last month, so I have had to cut down on blogging. But I’m still here. Ms. Scribbles’ Workshop is open for business. Feel free to contact me and enroll your child (or yourself!) at any time.


Ms. Scribbles

Precious Inheritance

Posted: August 27, 2013


“Writing well used to be a fundamental principle of the humanities, as essential as the knowledge of mathematics and statistics in the sciences. But writing well isn’t merely a utilitarian skill. It is about developing a rational grace and energy in your conversation with the world around you.

No one has found a way to put a dollar sign on this kind of literacy, and I doubt anyone ever will. But everyone who possesses it — no matter how or when it was acquired — knows that it is a rare and precious inheritance.”

The Decline and Fall of the English Major, The New York Times, June 22, 2013


Posted: July 29, 2013

I received this on Sunday, July 28, 2013. It made my day!

Ms. Scribbles,

I hope your summer is going well!  I just wanted to thank you for all your help with my essays, especially the SAT practice essays.  I have taken 2 practice SAT test this summer through a tutoring program and the first time (early June), I received a 530 on the writing portion.  The next test (a few weeks ago-after the workshop) I received a 690.  What a drastic improvement in scores!  Thank you for your assistance; I had no idea how to write a good SAT essay until your help this summer.  Thank you so much!

God bless,

Teenager lands book deal

Posted: June 26, 2013

People think you have to be old and gray to write a memoir. Not true! Maya Van Wagenen proves them wrong.