Kate Kilbane

Owner and Lead Writing Specialist

Kate Kilbane is an educator with fifteen years’ experience teaching writing, reading, music and theater. In her five years with composed, she has worked with close to three hundred students on their college application essays.

Prior to joining composed, Kate taught music at Presidio Hill School in San Francisco for five years. Kate has also worked as a private tutor in both New York City (2004 – 2009) and the Bay Area (2009 – 2014) providing intensive writing and reading instruction for students ages 5 – 18. Kate’s expertise as a tutor includes both college application essays and SAT, SSAT and ISEE prep.

In addition to her work as an educator, Kate is a rising playwright and composer in the Bay Area. She has performed her rock operas all over United States, most recently Weightless at ACT in San Francisco. Kate and her writing partner (who is also her husband) have earned coveted spots in Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor program, the Theatreworks New Works Festival, and the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference. Kate’s work in the arts certainly suits working with students on their personal statements, as those essays are strongest when they “show, not tell”.

Kate graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Virginia as a Jefferson Scholar and won a Waggenheim Scholarship her senior year, an award given to UVA’s top four English majors. She also holds a Masters of Arts in Performance Studies from New York University.

Contact: kate@essayscomposed.com


Nina Cohen


Nina founded composed ten years ago after having taught and tutored English for several years; many of her former students, when confronted with the college application essay, reported having little direct instruction in reflective or memoir-type writing.

Nina’s guiding philosophy has always been for composed Writing Specialists to find the right balance between guiding students to develop their voice for a college admissions application and teaching key writing skills that will serve them far beyond this unique assignment. Students also continue to hone essential self-advocacy, time management, and executive function skills when working with composed.

Nina now teaches 7th grade humanities at the East Bay School for Boys.