Viewing 1-12 Results Of 14
Apply Filters Clear Filters
Where Writers Grow

At our new online home, we’re delighted to share how we look at writing and what it can mean for the writer. Our decade of coaching has deepened our belief in the enduring personal growth a writer experiences in the journey between the blank page and the final draft.

READ MORE more about Where Writers Grow
Why the Particulars Matter

I tend to ask a lot of questions, especially of college-application writers. If you’re talking about preparing for a robotics competition, then I want to know where your team gathered, what songs you jammed to while you drew the designs, and the fact that you nicknamed the robot “Sparky.”

READ MORE more about Why the Particulars Matter
Stepping Off the Stage

Early in the writing process, performing is my worst enemy. The cursor keeps blinking while I keep staring. The problem in these moments is that I’ve leapfrogged over writing, straight to publishing, and to what I think the audience wants from the final draft. And then … I’m frozen.

READ MORE more about Stepping Off the Stage
The Anxiety of the Takeaway

As we come face-to-face with the anxiety of where this essay is going, I’m reminded of trying to walk my son to school on time. Once we hit the street, he’s fascinated by everything he sees. Don’t tell my son, or I'll despair of ever getting him to school on time, but college essay writers should be like him!

READ MORE more about The Anxiety of the Takeaway
Raiding the Closet

I often imagine college essays as first-impression outfits. Sure, it’s nice to be stylish, but college admissions officers don’t need to see you in your wildest clothes. If you look in your closet, though, and see no wild outfits at all, that doesn’t mean you have nothing to wear.

READ MORE more about Raiding the Closet
The Value of Two Cents

One of the most helpful things that a parent can offer is context and perspective. The writers always know what is most meaningful to them. But in most cases, a parent has the ability to provide a unique view of the child’s experience. There are some benefits that come with age, after all!

READ MORE more about The Value of Two Cents
The Creative Freefall

When I started writing in elementary school, the stories flowed out of me like magic. I remember hunching over my paper, scribbling down each chapter as fast as I could. Writing was fun and effortless and — at least the way I remember it — I never agonized over ideas or phrasing.

READ MORE more about The Creative Freefall
Give Yourself Away

As a young writer, I often felt I needed to write about something beyond myself — something accessible only to writers older, more intelligent, more talented than I was. This pressure often resulted in stagnant, dreadful writing, full of clichés.

READ MORE more about Give Yourself Away
The One Who Knows

Her email arrived thirty minutes before we were to meet. She wrote: Attached is the same draft I sent you, but my parents had someone else look at it. The second version on the document was primarily written by my dad.

READ MORE more about The One Who Knows
Picking the Locks

The fall of my senior year, I spent a very long time not writing my Big College Essay. It was a project I was already supposed to know how to do — two pages with just one job: to capture, in entirety, who I was.

READ MORE more about Picking the Locks
The Illuminating Incident in the College Essay

I’ve had a lot of practice at writing, and yet I can still struggle to get started, just like many college applicants. Sometimes when I want to try something new, my ideas and ambitions feel so big that it’s a challenge even to write a first sentence.

READ MORE more about The Illuminating Incident in the College Essay
The Essayist’s Real Challenge

Don't rush to meaning! A fresher, truer "aboutness" invariably results from patient recollection. And so when "To Write a Great Essay, Think and Care Deeply" appeared in The Atlantic, we applauded.

READ MORE more about The Essayist’s Real Challenge