Angela Allen

My writing and teaching skills make me a good coach for students who need pointers on their college essays. I love to teach any level of writer, not just kids on their way to college. Contact me for rates and more information about how I can help.

Below are a couple of examples of my writing assistance, teaching strategy and students’ work.


Teaching Strategies for Young Writers

Here are some ideas to help third-graders in sentence fluency, writing and working with prompts. The ideas are matched to the state requirements for third-grade language arts proficiency. Other grades can use some version of these ideas. I teach through Wordstock, Right Brain Initiative and Writers in the Schools, sponsored by Literary Arts in Portland, Ore.

What they’ll learn: Sentence fluency; new words and how to fit them into sentences and deduce meanings; writing a small story with a point and understanding the point (thesis); descriptive writing; synonyms and antonyms; imagery; nouns and verbs and how they work together freshly.

College Entry Essay

Changing my mind the day after high school

This is a sample of a well-written college entry essay. At the end of the essay, look at why it’s good. The college asked the student to write about:

If you’re not a musician, what will you be in 10 years?

So this is what he wrote:

To tell the truth, I don’t know what I’ll be doing 10 years from now. This feels strange to say.

From the time I was 13 until this past summer, I was sure that I would become a professional jazz guitarist. I was prepared to devote my life to the priesthood of jazz.

Student‘s Work

(A pantoum is a form of poem where the second and fourth lines of the first stanza make the first and third lines of the second stanza, and so on.)


(Variation on a Pantoum)
My third season at All In One,
I’ve got high expectations.
The people there know me pretty well,
because I think I’m a good player, of course.

I’ve got high expectations,
I think I have a good shot at the “A” team,
because I think I’m a good player of course.
It doesn’t matter though, because I’m not even that tall.

I think I have a good shot at the “A” team,
I have practiced until it was dark outside.
It doesn’t matter, though, because I’m not even that tall.
I guess I'm not as good as I thought.

I have practiced until it was dark outside.
I don’t even make all of my shots, though.
I guess I’m not as good as I thought.
I really ain't got no shot.

Shiva, eighth grade, Portland, Ore., 2013


(The following piece comes from a writing exercise about things both beautiful and ugly.)


One of the most repulsive creatures: the snake.
Its glass eyes and disgusting skin color make me shudder.
When it slithers, I feel vulnerable to an ugly attack.
Its nasty body is parallel to a rod of rubber.
Is this snake all that ugly? 
In which ways, though?
Its slithering pattern is quite the skill,
Its majestic and poised style makes him quite the spectacle.
A snake may be ugly, but it can be quite beautiful, too.
Sean Marion, what an ugly name.
He’s got an ugly hairstyle, too.
His shot is one to be shunned,
releasing the ball like a little child.
He’s not all that bad, though;
he’s got a hook shot like Kareem’s.
The rebound? Like Dwight’s, and
often a block. Not a bad basketball IQ you know.

Shiva, eighth grade, Portland, Ore., 2013

Kind Words for the Writer!

Take a look at remarks from Angela’s students and evaluations from teachers, students and administrators during Angela’s stints as the Eastern Oregon Writer-in-Residence; as a Wordstock teacher in the Portland Public Schools and the Riverdale School District; and as a private instructor.

Here’s what the school students said…

“Ms. Allen helps me correct my essays and gives me great structure. She also improves my vocabulary tremendously through great exercises. She helps me expand my overall writing brain by doing fun creative writing exercises.”
Shiva, 8th grade, Portland, Ore.
“Ms. Allen is very talented and I have enjoyed being taught by her.”
Claire Jean Hammond, 4th grade, French Glen School, Harney County