You need to stand out with so many students applying for college.

I am a seasoned essayist. My lifestyle blogs appear regularly on the PBS-sponsored website, Next Avenue, where I’m a full-time contract employee. I have been a writer/editor/journalist for more than 35 years. I’ve been a top editor and writer on such publications as People, Reader’s Digest and the San Francisco Examiner. I have been teaching essay writing at Emmanuel College for over a decade. I have a master’s in journalism from Boston University.

  • I specialize in bringing out each student’s voice.
  • I teach students how to think in larger terms and beyond themselves so that their essays have greater depth and meaning. They connect to every reader.
  • I make sure essays are grammatically correct.
  • I meet and work with students throughout the writing and editing process.

We can meet at your home, my office, library or coffeehouse. The process takes about 2 weeks. You will have an engaging essay in your words at the end of this process.

Choosing your topic: I will encourage you to not write about your grandmother or your summer field trip to Ecuador — unless there’s a really compelling story to tell. College admission officers are looking for an essay that says you’re unique.

Here’s an example:

I coached a high school football player a few years ago. He said he didn’t have an essay topic because the one he was going to write — about being a star athlete — couldn’t be done. He had suffered a serious injury during a game and was benched for more than a year. I told him that was his topic. I wanted to know what he had learned by not playing. Who couldn’t relate to that topic? He wrote such an inspiring essay that he got accepted at Boston College, even though his grade point wasn’t perfect.

“Thanks so much for all you help. Richie will be attending BC this September and we feel that is in part due to your expertise and care.”
Debra Casallas, West Roxbury

Email John