Thursday, August 29, 2013

Writing Your Personal Statement: Workshop at the Hill Center in Washington, D.C.

I'm excited to be leading a workshop at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital in October. I'll be discussing how to compose a strong personal statement for your college or graduate school applications. The workshop is limited to 12 participants; parents are welcome to attend, too. Register today through the Hill Center.

Three-Tense Approach: Applying to Undergraduate and Graduate Programs with a Well-Written Personal Statement

When: Mon, 10/21/2013; 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Cost: $30 per person

A strong personal statement should describe your past, present and future. Writing Coach Chloe Miller will discuss how to tap into your experiences and goals in order to craft the strongest possible essay. Graduate and undergraduate applicants (parents welcome, too) should come with questions and paper and pen or a charged laptop. We’ll spend some time in the second half of the session brainstorming ideas and starting to write.

From a former Politics & Prose student of Chloe's: "I signed up for Chloe's Politics and Prose class because I needed structure and deadlines for my writing. In the class, I realized that Chloe is excellent at guiding writers and seeing the larger picture for our work. In addition to getting what I needed in terms of structure and deadlines, her feedback on my work as a writing coach really helped with my thesis last spring. I lacked confidence in my ability to tell my story, and I gained what I needed in that class."


Read a recent, related blog post on how to consider three time periods in your personal statement.

If you are looking to work with a writing coach for additional, one-on-one help with your personal statement, read more about my writing coach services and how I can help you with your personal statement. Each session will be tailored to fit your needs and goals. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Personal Statement: Working with an Experienced Writing Coach


I work with applicants who are writing their personal statements for undergraduate or graduate applications. While I tailor each session to a particular student’s needs, we will typically meet twice.
Here’s how our sessions will usually go: 

Writing Your Personal Statement: Two Drafts & Three Writing Coach Hours

You send me a draft of the personal statement (usually about 650 words, but I understand that an earlier draft might be longer or shorter) and some background information in response to any questions I might have. It will take me about half an hour to read through and prepare the essay for our session. I prefer to receive the draft at least two days before the session so that I can spend some time thinking about it in addition to the active time I spend reading and responding to it.

During our session, I’ll ask you many questions in response to what you’ve written and other questions to uncover other experiences or ideas you might explore in the essay (background, goals, interests, etc.) We’ll look closely at the writing and discuss the ideas, overall organization, sentence-level grammatical issues and how the essay fits into the rest of the application. The first session will typically last an hour. I expect that you'll bring a copy of the essay and take notes during our discussion. Some students choose to audiotape our session. A parent or guardian is welcome to attend this and future sessions, if that's ok with the student.

I will ask to see a revised copy of the essay before our second session. It will take me about half an hour to prepare that version for our session. When we discuss the work, we’ll look closely at the overall essay, as well as each individual sentence. With that feedback, you should end up with a very strong draft.

All meetings can take place in person, on the phone or via video conferencing.

The cost is $150.00 an hour, including the time it takes me to read the work. If you book three or more hours, you’re welcome to a 10% discount. With that in mind, two sessions, including my preparation time, will be a three hour commitment. We can always add on additional time as necessary.

Read more about my writing coach services here. (Of course, I won’t be writing your essay for you.)


(This page was updated August 2017.)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Personal Statement: College Applications & Three Time Periods

Summer, even late summer, is the time 
to start working on those college application essays



August is the time when diligent rising high school seniors start working on their college applications. It is also that time of year when the panic begins. I’m here to squelch that panic and help you brainstorm, write, edit and revise your personal statement.

As you’ve heard countless times, your personal statement can help you stand out from the other applicants. Spend some time brainstorming what you’ve done, what you’re currently doing and what you want to do. (And yes, you can tell your parents that thinking, even if it looks like you aren’t doing anything, is an important part of the process.)

Those three time periods (past, present and future) are the key to a strong essay. You want to clearly present something about your past accomplishments, what you hope to do in college (a soon to be present) and how college will help you to achieve your long term goals in the future.

After all, you are choosing colleges to apply to with similar things in mind. You know how selective they are (that is to say, what applicants accomplished before they were accepted), what the students and faculty achieve on campus (the present) and the alums' accomplishments (the future.) Therefore, you need to show where you fit into those three parts. After all, schools also want to know what you’ll contribute to their community when you are a student and later as an alum. 

I’ve already started meeting with students and booking fall appointments. Contact me today to make your appointment to discuss your essay in person (Washington, D.C.) on the phone or via video conference. I have day and evening appointments still available on both weekdays and weekends. Click here to read more about my writing coach services.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gearing Up for Fall

Summer views: Potomac River from Georgetown 


… And I’m back, this time as a mother. My entire existence has changed and it is amazing. To read more about my experiences as a mother juggling roles, check out my blog Woman Mother Writer. You might enjoy this recent post about weekly poetry deadlines and continuing to write as a mother. I’ll be  focus on writing here on this blog.

I’m gearing up for a busy fall semester. In addition to teaching college level writing classes online, I’ll be leading two workshops at Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C. – Master Class: Memoir Manuscript Workshop and Memoir Writing Workshop (Mixed Level). There are still a few seats available for the master class and the second session of the memoir writing workshop in October.  

In November, I’ll be reading at the Writer’s Center with three other Finishing Line Press Poets: David Ebenbach, W.M. Rivera, and Pia Taavila.

I’m starting to schedule fall writing coach appointments. If you’re looking for one-on-one help with your writing project, contact me via email (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com) and we can set your first appointment. For more about my services, click here.