I have been a professional writer for three decades -- countless articles and books and screenplays -- but I have realized that helping young people achieve success can be as rewarding as a byline or a bestseller. After guiding local high school seniors as they write various college application essays, I love to hear the excitement in their voices when they later inform me of the good news. So I have decided to expand my reach as a college application essay coach.
As application numbers skyrocket and colleges become test-optional, personal essays have taken on paramount importance. The goal, in my opinion, is to offer a personal account that stands out. Each member of an admission committee reads hundreds and hundreds of essays. If yours is memorable, that’s a victory. If you can make readers laugh or smile, if you can offer unexpected insight, if you can impress them with your creativity… then your application is going to make its way toward the top of the heap.
My coaching process involves four steps:
I have coached students who have been accepted to colleges and universities coast to coast, including Stanford University, Boston University, UCLA, Amherst College, Colorado College, Middlebury College, Wesleyan University, Cal-Berkeley, Cal-Poly, Chapman University, Colorado State, UC-Santa Barbara, and UC-Davis, as well as University College Roosevelt in the Netherlands.
I live on California’s Monterey Peninsula, where I write screenplays and books about subjects ranging from civil rights to space. My children’s books have sold more than half a million copies and have earned various awards. My series of travel memoirs have been called “the new classics of American travel writing.” Over the years, I have written hundreds of national magazine articles, and several have been honored with gold medals by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. I have been interviewed by everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Marie Osmond, have served as a keynote speaker and guest author at conferences and schools around the country, and have given two popular TEDx talks (“Catching Creative Ideas” and “Write the Wrong Way”). So I know that a great story is simply a good idea conveyed in a compelling way.
Fee: $175/hr... Contact me with questions about availability: email@example.com, 831-915-2322
"Brad was able to bring a creative take to every single one of my essays, brainstorming material from my past to make me stand out in an overwhelming ocean of candidates. I was inspired after every meeting to think harder and be more focused on my essays, and he set me up for the best possible outcome, no matter the school I applied too. I cannot recommend Brad’s coaching and creative guidance enough!"
-- Adrian (Pacific Grove, CA), attending UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television
"Brad was a HUGE help in several areas -- discussing what I wanted to convey about myself, strategizing which topics fit into which essays, and then guiding my writing so that I presented myself in a compelling way. It's what he does as an author, and I was grateful for his expertise."
-- Ben (Boise, ID), attending Colorado College
"I knew what stories I wanted to tell in my application essays, but I wasn't sure exactly how to go about telling them. I felt so lucky to have the guidance of someone who's been writing stories for 30 years! Brad definitely knows how to make any subject fascinating, and it was a lot of fun to work with him."
-- Kai (Pacific Grove, CA), attending Middlebury College
"Brad was super useful in helping me to organize my thoughts and perfect my language in my college essays. It definitely made a big difference, and I got into the college of my choice!"
-- Claire (St. Louis, MO), attending Boston University