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Personal Essay Webinar

From Blank Page to First Draft

Writers dread the first draft. To reduce stress and provide direction for the personal essay, the fee-based webinar gives students clear explanations, concrete examples, and specific steps needed to conceive and craft their first draft. These are the same lessons that I have shared with more than 500 one-on-one students who have enjoyed exceptional success in the college admissions process. Every participant in the four-hour webinar 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 essay, the expectations of admissions officers, and the elements of essays that stand out.

How to find your 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 structures of engaging essays

College essays are unlike high school essays. The personal essays most likely to make an impact highlight the experience and insights of the writer. To provide an essential tool for success, the webinar teaches students structures that will engage admissions officers.

How to outline an essay

By teaching specific options for outlining an essay, the webinar provides blueprints that will turn strong idea into compelling essays.

Techniques for completing a draft

Writing is challenging. Taking my experience as a journalist and author, adding lessons from guiding hundreds of students, I have practical suggestions that can help anyone turn an outline into a first draft. 

All webinar participants receive:

  • A copy of materials presented during the webinar

  • Access to a recording of the webinar

  • A follow-up Q&A session


  • The workshop cannot address questions about individual essays

  • Editing of essay drafts is not included

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


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