Essay Expert

About Anne-Marie

An award-winning journalist and writer with 20 years of experience, Anne-Marie’s writing has appeared in various outlets and publications, including Newsweek, the Huffington Post, and ABC News.com. After transitioning from journalism, she has worked as a communications and media specialist, first at an exclusive New England independent school, and currently at a leading Northeast college. She also continues to consult on communication needs for select corporate and non-profit clients.

A Business Is Born

Because of my work and experience in reading college essays, as well as my own extensive writing background, I began receiving frequent requests to help craft and edit college essays, the most stressful and anxiety-provoking part of the college admissions process. I quickly realized there were a lot of students out there (and parents) who wanted some help with the process.

I have read hundreds of college applications, and understand what works, and what doesn’t, what will pique interest, and what won’t. And, drawing on my own longtime background in quickly catching the interest of viewers and readers, I know how to tease out a winning subject, and how to craft a succinct and engaging narrative.

The Process

Students routinely describe the college essay as being the most difficult part of the whole application process. But what’s more, it may also be the most important. Because the stakes seem so high, many students not only feel intimidated and overwhelmed, many feel nearly paralyzed by the writing process.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

With a little help and a different approach, the college essay can also be the most significant tool a candidate has to genuinely stand out and impress.

I’ve thought a lot about why this task of writing an essay is so stressful. I believe it is because few educators encourage our kids to write, and even fewer teach how to write a personal essay where narrative skills are important. Then comes the college essay—and suddenly that’s exactly the skill that’s required.

As a professional journalist, I’ve been a reporter, producer, editor, and writer. I know how to help craft a personal essay using literary and story-telling techniques.

I know how to draw readers in. Getting started is often the hardest part. It’s not easy to choose a premise, to find that ‘fit’ for a topic. It can feel daunting to figure out what you want to reveal about yourself, and finding examples to illustrate the point can be a difficult process. (It can feel that way to journalists, too!) Too often students merely craft a list of personal achievements, instead of a strong narrative story. Many applicants have gotten good grades, won an award, or have volunteered their time. Far fewer can equally impress by writing about some aspect of themselves and their life. Those that do, stand out. This is my goal in working with a student. This is a chance to tell your story in 650-words.

I provide individualized, expert writing and editing guidance—all to ensure that your story is told like no one else’s.”

How it Works/Cost

The process begins with an initial interview either in-person, via Skype, or on the phone to brainstorm a topic and discuss an overall, comfortable approach. After the interview, the applicant will have both a topic, and a clear outline with which to proceed.

The applicant will craft an initial draft, after which there will be a total of four hours of follow-up, working through three drafts of the essay. The applicant will submit drafts via email and receive detailed notes and edits and follow-up phone calls.

Total: Five hours/$500

Editing /Feedback for an Existing Draft:

If the student has already written a draft of his/her essay or personal statement, a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the tone, structure, and grammar can be provided.

Total: $300

(Additional editing of personal statements, and any other application material available @ $125/hour.)