The Personal Statement

First Draft Workshop

Saturday, June 13

2 pm to 5 pm, Eastern Time


Writers dread the first draft. For students writing their personal statement, the sense that the stakes are high adds to the anxiety. To reduce stress and provide direction, the First Draft Workshop offers students applying to any university the clear explanations, concrete examples, and specific steps needed to conceive and craft the main essay for the Common Application. I have shared these lessons with more than 300 one-on-one students who have enjoyed exceptional success in the college admissions process. Every participant in the three-hour workshop will learn:

What admissions officers "want"

Even the best high school writers can be unsure how to write an essay that will shine in the college admissions context. The answer lies in a detailed explanation of the role of the personal statement, the expectations of admissions officers, and the elements of essays that stand out.

How to find their best essay topic

Engaging personal statements are no accident. Rather, the choice of what to write is the result of a clear-cut process. The workshop shows students how to identify the life experiences, personal qualities and core values that can create a vivid, personal portrait.

The structure of a compelling story

College essays are unlike high school essays. The personal statements most likely to make an impact are narratives that highlight the experience and insights of the writer. To provide an essential tool for success, the workshop shows students how to structure of a story that will engage admissions officers.

The right way to outline an essay

Bringing an essay topic to life means aligning the material with a narrative structure that will engage readers in the message. By teaching specific options for outlining an essay, the workshop provides a blueprint that will turn a strong idea into a compelling story.

Techniques for writing the first draft

Writing is challenging. Take my experience as a journalist and author, add lessons from guiding hundreds of one-on-one students, I have a range of practical suggestions that can help any writer to turn their outline into the first big step to college admissions success: a great first draft of your personal statement. 

Workshop participants receive

  • A workbook with notes of the main points

  • One-month of access to a recording of the recording

  • A 50% discount on "The Final Draft" workshop.



  • The workshop cannot address questions about individual essays.

  • Participants are not guaranteed one-on-one consulting with College Essay Mentor.

  • Fees are not refundable.

Questions about webinars?