Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
— Prompt #1 for the Common Application's 2015 - 16 cycle

So…what's yours?

That's an overwhelming question for most of us adults, let alone these teenagers, who have likely never learned to write in a way that even remotely resembles what most college essay admissions folks really want to see. A way that gives them a glimpse into the real you.

Figured out your story? …Ready or not, you have 650 words in which to do it. Good luck.

Here's the thing: we all need to know how to tell a good story, beginning with the one about us and the work that we do. This doesn't end with personal statements on college applications. It's a major life skill, and in an age when one's digital footprint spans nearly all aspects of life and work, it's more critical than ever.

Telling your story is the cornerstone of a successful pitch, interview, or submission—basically, any situation with the potential to open a door for your future.


Here are the top three reasons people hire me as a writing coach:


1. My training. I was a creative writing major at Northwestern and I have my editing certificate from University of Chicago after having worked in publishing for a couple of years.

2. My background. I began work as a writing coach during undergrad, and despite the many twists and turns in my everyday working life, I never stopped coaching, if only on a freelancing basis. I even occasionally teach corporate workshops on how to write emails and make presentations!

3. My belief is that we all have a story to share, even if we have a lot of life still ahead of us. Something has formed our point of view, framed the way we think, filtered the things we perceive around us. Taking those first steps into a more independent, adult lifestyle is the perfect time to start reflecting on our experiences, and ultimately to begin tuning in to our story as it unfolds each day.