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“All serious daring…

“All serious daring…

…starts from within.” So said Eudora Welty, one of my favorite writers, in chapter three of her memoir, One Writer’s Beginnings. And so does yours. For writing a compelling, personal essay calls for the sort of courage you might need to look deep inside yourself, […]

Thomas Jefferson never had to give advice…

Thomas Jefferson never had to give advice…

…about writing admissions essays,  for when he wrote, “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom,” he never could have imagined the unhappy lengths to which some students will go in their personal essays to make themselves stand out to the admissions committees. Yes, […]

Newly Minted: Common App Topics

Newly Minted: Common App Topics

I received a notice from the Common App organization today about the new personal essay topics for the 2013~2014 application year. They are thoughtful prompts, eminently adaptable to wonderful essays–and they’ve increased the word count to a maximum of 650: two positive things indeed. Please see […]

“Be of good cheer…”

“Be of good cheer…”

Helen Keller is one of my heroes. For her joy in life, her indomitability, her grace. If you ever find yourself stalling out in your writing (or any other endeavor, for that matter), thinking that you will never get to the other side–and get there […]

Mark Twain: Better and Better

Mark Twain: Better and Better

The more I read Mark Twain the more I like him. When it comes to talking about the best kind of writing, no one’s said it better than he did: To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense […]

Welcome

Welcome

You may feel stuck. Perhaps you don’t know where to begin–or where to stop. Too many paths loom (or none at all!) and you wonder which one will take you unerringly where you want to go. Take heart. You have all the tools you need […]