Your College Application Essay

shutterstock_594665840You probably know that if your application is to rise to the top of that massive pile of competing applications, your essays have to practically leap out and grab your readers by the nose.

No matter how high your GPA is, you have only 350 to 650 words to stand out, to illuminate the aspects of your character and experience not visible in your grades, your test scores, your extracurricular pursuits—350 to 650 words to breathe enough power into your application to catapult it directly onto that Absolutely Y-E-S pile.

But what if you can’t demonstrate fluency in twelve languages, show off an Olympic gold medal, and compose a concerto on par with Puccini’s?

Fear not! Everyone—literally every person on the planet— has at least three colorful, unique, and surprising stories to tell.

Let’s work together to find your most compelling stories, and tell them with skill. and purpose.

Here’s what I provide you:

  • Step by step guidance through the entire process, start to finish
  • Brainstorming tools and facilitation to uncover your most promising essay material
  • Evaluation and grouping of all your essay prompts
  • Big picture editorial advice and line-by-line editing
  • Time and deadline management
  • Ongoing communications with and between me, you, and your parents

Depending on your needs, I also offer:

  • Standing weekly check-in calls to establish and maintain your essay-writing momentum
  • Ad hoc phone or video calls to help you over hurdles, answer questions,and brainstorm your best approach to the next essay on your timeline

What you get from working with me:

  • Memorable essays that represent you in the best possible light
  • A sense of calm and purpose instead of chaos and stress
  • A penetrating awareness of your strengths and uniqueness
  • Insight into the deeper meaning of your experiences and challenges
  • Practice taking a piece of writing from rough to refined
  • Sharpened writing skill that will last a lifetime

Here’s my advice. Start Now. Call 510-842-3939

About Lesley Quinn

Lesley has coached hundreds of applicants through the creation of exceptional essays and personal statements. She is unusually skilled at uncovering qualities and stories that turn each applicant into a unique, fascinating, three dimensional individual.

She also understands the importance of breaking the project into small manageable components while keeping a steady eye on her clients’ deadlines and intentions.

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Lesley’s Publications


Playing the Market, Internationally
Read it here


Family brings new life to late neighbor’s home
Read it here


Winner of Raymond Carver Short Story Contest – Editor’s Choice Award
Read it here


The Gettysburg Review: 100 Percent
Spring, 2006
Read it here


Brain, Child Magazine: If Food is Love…
Summer, 2002
Read it here

Sand in My Bra and Other Misadventures: At a Loss for Words
Copyright 2003 Travelers’ Tales,
Read it here


Skirt! Magazine:An Armchair Odyssey
June, 2002
Read it here

Chocolate for a Teen’s Dream: Molly’s Portrait
June, 2002
Read it here


Gravity Pulls You In
Read it here