As coaches, we bring together decades of experience working with writers and writing. Our backgrounds in journalism, creative writing, academia, publishing, and marketing make us expert coaches. We create an environment that is fun, relaxing, and focused, and we share a knack for helping students bring forth their best writing.  

Meg SiesfelD

Founding ParTner & COACH

A words and ideas person, Meg headed into magazine publishing right out of Kenyon College, where she majored in Medieval History. She soon found her niche: collaborating with other editors to brainstorm, elicit, and create stories that entertain, inform, and engage global audiences. Having fallen in love with Parisian culture during her junior year at the Sorbonne, Meg landed at Harper’s Bazaar France as a magazine editor. At Young Presidents Organization, she worked with business leaders to create audience-specific materials at educational conferences in Nairobi, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Venice, and Mexico City. Her successes led to her recruitment by Murdoch Magazines, where she worked with chief editors in England, Australia, Italy, and Japan to create international editions of American magazines. As digital communications emerged, Meg was at the forefront of content transformation at Time Inc. magazines – including Time, Parenting, and InStyle  – translating each publication into digital media for a growing internet audience. In her current work as a college essay coach, she has been inspired by the process of uncovering the unique story of each student who comes to her dining-room table unsure of where to begin. She puts her editorial skills to use, helping teenagers shape the ideas that will enlighten and entertain their audience – college admissions teams – and finds real joy in guiding young writers to access their strongest personal material. She is the mother of a college junior and freshman, former MHS students.

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Karen Vrotsos

Founding partner & coach

With a BA in English and Political Science in hand, Karen left Wellesley College for New York to work in publishing. Living on the Lower East Side amidst bodegas and storefront galleries, she worked for New American Library, New York Magazine, and, briefly, for shock-schlock indie film company Troma, Inc. Her love of literature drew her to study French in Paris, then to Columbia University’s graduate program in English. While earning an M.A. and M.Phil., she taught critical reading and writing courses, including Columbia's legendary Literature Humanities and Barnard's First-Year Seminar. Meanwhile, volunteering in New York City public schools sparked her desire to teach younger students. After moving to Montclair, she taught English and History at the Wardlaw-Hartridge Middle School while continuing to teach writing at Columbia's Summer Program for High School Students. She also continued to work as a freelance writer and editor for business and literary publications. Karen's role as a writing coach emerged as students and colleagues sought her advice. She delights in guiding each writer along a unique course of self discovery and self expression. She uses her training in literary form and style to help students craft compelling works that speak with the force of authentic voice. A long-time advocate for students with learning differences, she enjoys helping kids discover their (sometimes hidden) inner writer. Karen is the mother of a Montclair High School senior and is a certified Amherst Writers & Artists workshop leader.

 

JESSICA WOLF

COACH

Jessica started writing professionally in 2008 when, in a moment of bravery, she responded to an ad seeking a “funny mom writer” to turn out a monthly humor column in a local magazine. Having no real clips, she sent a recent family holiday letter as a writing sample. The publisher hired her on the spot and eventually made her editor of the magazine, lending credence to Jessica’s belief that compelling writing exists within all of us -– we just need to figure out how to get it out and dress it up for an audience. Since then, her personal essays have been published in the New York Times and the Huffington Post, as well as on many of the Essex County Patch sites, including Montclair Patch, which, for several years, featured her weekly column about life in the suburbs. Jessica’s fiction has been published in online literary reviews. As a Writers’ Room coach in the Montclair Public Schools for seven years, Jessica worked with students from third through ninth grade. As a private coach, she works with young writers from eighth grade through college on fiction, non-fiction, and college application essays and supplements. Jessica has also been an editor and coach for adult writers working on short stories, book proposals, books, essays, and even love letters. Her superpower is helping writers find their voice and express themselves in clear, concise ways. As if all that isn’t enough, she is also the mother of two boys – a freshman in college and a recent college graduate. Jessica is a certified Amherst Writers & Artists workshop leader.