Charis Conn

Charis C.

Brooklyn, NY

Lesson Details



Charis delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
January 1983

I'm a lifelong tutor with many skills and clever ways of combining them to make learning fun. As a published writer, I've helped many respected authors with their work, along with students at Syracuse University, the Gotham Writers' Workshop, and elementary, middle, and high schools. And a degree in Fine Art lets me use imagery to enliven any lesson. I also spent decades editing Harper's Magazine and working for public radio, including WNYC, WBAI, and WBEZ, where I was often a guest, so I'm excellent at intriguing talk and careful listening. Since 2004, I've helped kids in all subjects at the fantastic 826NYC, where I also illustrate students’ stories right before their eyes. I can even help change your mood after a bad day and let your life experiences help you learn, since these are what you know best. As a kid I often tutored my little brother, and this inspired me to teach. My main goal is to increase students’ confidence and excitement about learning. Then everything is possible.

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Senior Editor
Apr 1984 - Nov 2004
Harper's Magazine

For 20 years, I wrote and edited at Harper's Magazine, and was the author of the globally syndicated Harper's Index, renown for its wit and creativity, along with two books based on the feature. I edited the work of David Foster Wallace, George Saunders, Joyce Carol Oates, George Plimpton, Nadine Gordimer, Richard Russo, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Pico Iyer, Paula Fox, Allan Gurganus, and Jack Hitt, among others, as well as many emerging writers. For Harper’s, I also edited and chose art, illustrated ad copy, appeared as a regular public radio guest, and created and ran an internship program that set 200 recent college graduates on the path to some amazing careers.

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BFA drawing, printmaking, design, and English
Sep 1978 - Jun 1981
SUNY Purchase


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Residency at Yaddo
May 2001
Residency at Yaddo
Sep 1999
National Magazine Award
Apr 1999
American Society of Magazine Editors
National Magazine Award
Apr 1996
American Society of Magazine Editors
Residency at Yaddo
Mar 1996
National Magazine Award
Apr 1994
American Society of Magazine Editors
Residency at Yaddo
Jul 1993

12 Reviews

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Joshua H. Oct 23, 2016
Drawing · Online

Charis is a gifted teacher, very nice and patient with my child.

Presley May 27, 2016
Cartooning · Online

Loved my first lesson. Very happy with Charis and her style!

Katherine Apr 13, 2016
Drawing · In studio

I love my drawing lesson with Charis and look forward to a lessons each week. She gives thoughtful comments that have helped me develop my drawing skills and personal creative style.

Adrian Sep 22, 2015

Charis is brilliant. Her marvelous sense of humor, curiosity, and expertise with language, literature and the making of beautiful things, would make learning anything with her a pure delight, as well as a privilege. As it happens, she is a masterful writer, editor and expediter of creative dreams -in a genuinely original, even magical way- every time I see her, I find I've got five new ideas and my sense of reality feels enlivened and enlarged.

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Jarrel Sep 15, 2015
Writing · In studio

Charis was able to help me condense my complex ideas into something impactful and understandable; taking ideas that I couldn't quite verbalize and rephrasing them in a way that seems as if she is reading my mind. She takes into account the writers personality when helping edit. Her feedback is extraordinary, it will certainly inspire you to write more than you knew you had within you. Just a few sessions boosted my confidence in my writing ability and as a human being in general. Her belief in the writer will undoubtedly generate a higher belief in themselves.

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Robert Sep 15, 2015

Charis is a wonderful person who is blessed with the key to open even the most reticent mind; encouraging creative, original thinking and problem-solving is not only a natural gift of hers but a joy and a passion as well. Beyond thoroughly exploring the subject at hand, she will guide you to unexpected discoveries that will strengthen both your resolve and your ability to meet challenges down the road. I speak from person experience: things I learned from Charis ten years ago are still valuable to me today.

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Maura Sep 14, 2015
Creative Writing · In studio

A few years ago I attended a class taught by Charis Conn. She is a superb teacher—smart, interesting and lively.

I still follow the advice she gave our class. Just a few days ago I followed through on a suggestion she had made and it has produced good results.

I wish I could continue to attend her class but I have unfortunately moved far away. I enthusiastically recommend her. She will inspire you too.

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Mairi Sep 14, 2015
Writing · In home

Charis has an understanding of language, and the power of words used well, that transcends the nuts and bolts and brings out the best sensibilities of writers of all ages and skill levels. You can always improve your writing, and Charis's encouraging attitude, resourceful approach, and quirky sense of humor make learning fun. Time flies, and next thing you know you have done something you never thought you could do! I highly recommend Charis for help with projects and classes of any size and scope, whether individually or in an institution of higher learning.

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Sinziana Sep 14, 2015
Creative Writing · Online

I am a non-native English speaker who wrote a novel in this language not so long ago. And while I was working my way through re-writing the text, I had the incredibly good fortune of being put into contact with Charis who edited my manuscript. I have learned so much from Charis' precise and thoughtful comments, from her explanations that matched my linguistic level so well, and from her method of approaching the text layer after layer, from fine-tuning the narrative to final touches! Now, when I take that step back to re-think and to re-read (sometimes) aloud fragments of my current work, I can still feel what an eye-opening learning experience that was for me. I would be honored and delighted if Charis accepted editing my fiction writings in the future, and were I to live in NYC, I would be so lucky to be in another wonderful learning situation with Charis!

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Eric Sep 14, 2015
Essay Writing · In home

Superb. Superb. SUPERB! Honestly, Charis Conn's ability to do what she does is a gift, and I am personally deeply grateful for it. Do yourself a favor and see what I mean.

Garnette Sep 13, 2015
Writing · In studio

I write for a living -- for the most part -- and have had many moments when I've considered giving up, when the words and thoughts come too slow or come out too muddled or clumsy or plain dull and turgid. And then I freeze.

Charis has been wonderful -- amazing, really -- in her ability to get me to write, to figure out what techniques (psychological, technical) are needed to get me to write as I want to, as I should. And she knows how to find that magical balance between firmness and empathy, between patience and push, between the craft o writing and the art of knowing how to extract one's best thoughts, and she ends up making a better thinker and writer of me. To work with her is to not only learn about writing but also to learn how to diagnose the problems with one's thinking and writing and to know what steps to take to improve one's thinking and writing. And as a reader she is brilliant: a great diagnostician with an incisive eye, knowing when to cheer and when to correct.

No question about it, you'll become a more confident, fluent, thoughtful, skilled writer after working with her. It doesn't hurt that she has a terrific sense of humor and is a charming, delightful person -- just the kind of person you want to work with whether you are a beginner or a professional looking to sharpen your abilities or get over a block.

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Ellen Sep 11, 2015
Creative Writing · In home

For over a decade Charis has been my go-to tutor whenever one or both of my kids hit a wall in any aspect of their schooling. Whether it was nerves over a new grade level or new school (1st and 3rd were both stressful for my kids), a difficult teacher or subject, or an overcrowded class, Charis was always able to get my children back up to speed with cheerful, relaxed sessions that made them see their own worth anew and also the importance of completing homework assignments that were often overly challenging, less than challenging, or sometimes just extremely unclear. With Charis, their skills, patience, and confidence always improved, and I can’t imagine them succeeding as wonderfully as they did later on in college without her nurturing care in the preceding years.

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