New York Times Narrative Writing Competition - Knovva Academy
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New York Times Narrative Writing Competition

This course is a series of eight one-on-one lessons wherein the student will actively draft, edit, and revise a piece of creative nonfiction that is submission ready for the New York Times Personal Narrative Writing Contest. During the course, the student will learn about the unique type of writing needed for many writing competitions and college essays: creative nonfiction. The student will break down the writing process and step-by-step work through each part of a successful essay, with focused lessons on introduction, body paragraphs, conclusions, and improving style, voice, tone, syntax, and diction. Readings will include sample winning essays, as well as various essays by writers on effective writing.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Follow guidelines for entering a competition
  • Analyze prompts to select a strong topic
  • Evaluate the qualities of successful essays
  • Use rubrics to evaluate and score their own writing
  • Describe and apply the steps of the writing process
  • Revise writing to include a dynamic “hook,” a strong thesis statement, clear supporting paragraphs, and an effective conclusion
  • Assess and improve style, diction, syntax, voice, and tone in writing
  • Write and revise an essay that is ready to be submitted to programs, schools, and/or competitions

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • A repository of resources, skills, and exercises to improve writing, generate new ideas, and enter writing contests
  • A polished final essay that is ready for submission
  • A certificate of completion


Portrait of a brunette woman

Dr. Jesse H., Ph.D.

Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University
Writing Instructor at Knovva Academy

Dr. Hernandez has been in secondary education for more than 20 years as an English and AP Art History teacher, Gifted Coordinator, and Curriculum Specialist. She holds a PhD in Media, Art and Text from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) a Master’s in Teaching English and a Bachelors in English from VCU, and teaching certifications in Visual Arts PreK-12, English, and Gifted Education.

Portrait of a brunette woman

Morgan S., M.F.A.

B.F.A, New York University
M.F.A, University of Iowa
Writing Instructor at Knovva Academy

Morgan is a novelist and playwright, whose plays have been produced in New York and London, California and Iowa. She has a BFA from the Tisch school at NYU and an MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop in playwriting and theater arts. Most recently, she has taught English at Smith College, where her classes are geared toward multi-lingual students, and creative writing and college entrance essay writing at the Smith High School Summer Programs.

college counselor at Knovva Academy

Dr. Jesse H., Ph.D.

Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University
Writing Instructor at Knovva Academy

Marci Darling has worked in the field of education for more than thirty years. She has published four books, one of which reached #1 on Amazon. She has a Masters degree in Education from Harvard, a BA in English/Creative Writing from UCLA, and a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford.

Related Skills

  • English grammar
  • English vocabulary
  • Reading comprehension
  • Literary analysis
  • Drafting and revision
  • Receiving and applying feedback
  • Self-reflection
  • Critical thinking
  • Research
  • Brainstorming

Our Schedule


New York Times Narrative Writing Competition 8 Lessons

60 minutes per lesson

Competition Submission Date

November 2022

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