My work with student writers goes far beyond editing and proofreading. My approach combines the craft of creative storytelling, personal coaching tailored for teens, and insightful attention to the goals of college essays to mentor kids in creating outstanding pieces of writing that make their applications vibrant and impactful. It’s a time intensive process that I’ve developed over years of experience as a writer, teacher and college admissions counselor, and is about much more (and is more valuable) than just finding good transition sentences and eliminating extraneous commas…it’s about finding yourself and sharing who you are on the written page.
College essays are all about your stories. Whether you’re writing the main essay for the Common Application, the short responses for the University of California, or the tricky supplement essays required by many colleges, uncovering and skillfully telling your unique stories is the key to authentic, effective essays. Using my decades of experience as a writing teacher and professional writer, I help students explore their life experiences and not only find the right stories to highlight their backgrounds, strengths and goals, but to share those stories in ways that let their individual voices speak. The process is exciting, fun (and sometimes a little scary at first) and it produces stand out essays that many of my clients cherish as the best pieces of writing they’ve ever produced.
It isn’t, however, an easy task. Like all creative work, composing vibrant, exceptional college essays requires patience, diligence, and the willingness to work through multiple drafts as you find and polish the stories that reveal your best self. When you collaborate with me on your essays, you’re embarking on a personal journey that requires bravery, commitment and a healthy sense of humor. Yes, the result of your hard work and dedication to self-reflection is a portfolio of fantastic college essays that make you come to life on the page, but the writing experience is also its own reward, whose benefits are felt far beyond the college application process.
How I Coach Writers College essays must be true: They need to capture a student’s unique life experiences and express not only those stories but reflections on what those experiences mean in the student’s own style and voice. I guide students in discovering their stories through:
* Guided brainstorming using writing prompts, conversation, imaginative reflection, and suggestions for ways to draw connections between past experiences and resulting self-awareness or personal growth.
* Story structuring and outlining, starting with the “gems” of brainstorming and exploring different ways to share your story to create the most power and impact.
* Coaching to find the most authentic responses to the “why do you want to attend our college?” essay questions, and strategies for effectively sharing these ideas in the context of personal stories.
* Providing ongoing suggestions for revision and editing as students slowly uncover and polish their stories.
* Moral support, encouraging and inspiring enthusiasm throughout what can sometimes be a challenging, intimidating process.
* Celebration of progress and achievement, encouraging and honoring the writer that shines brightly in all students, regardless of their “skill level” or fears about writing.
Looking for support in crafting your own amazing college essays? Get in touch.