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College Application Essays

As a member of PEN’s Writers in the Schools program, I tutor writing at a New York City public school. Often students especially need help on college admissions essays, as this is new territory for them. Over the years, here are some tips we have learned.

Guest blog at Writers Helping Writers

Emotion in Dialogue

Guest Blog on A Blue Million Books


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A day in the life

Piece in Boomer Café


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Some history regarding living life and understanding it

Guest blog on Hidden Gems Books


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A piece on characterization.

Any Novel Needs Mystery


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A link to my piece posted by The Editorial Department

Writing Advice from Writers I Admire


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(This post is regularly updated.)   Kurt Vonnegut was a favorite author of mine for years in my twenties.  Here’s his advice:  I don’t agree with his tip #8.  I don’t think he really did either, since most of his…

Book Review: Lisa Cron, Wired for Story


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Writers have long been flying blind.  They have been firing off stories without having any idea what happens to them after they splash down in readers’ brains.  See my Goodreads review.

Steven Pinker’s book on Writing


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Steven Pinker is a linguist and cognitive scientist who has written a number of erudite books on a wide range of topics. His latest, The Sense of Style, is about writing. I recommend it. Here’s a link to my review…

Volunteer to Teach Writing


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A writer’s outlook on a piece a student is working on is likely to be quite different from a teacher’s.  Helping a kid figure out what he or she is really trying to say and how to best say it isn’t the…