Say What? offers college essay coaching and one-on-one writing help to students for projects including:

·    College application essays and supplemental questions  

·      ZeeMe stories and social media profiles

·      SAT and ACT essay writing test preparation

·      Academic paper writing

·      Resume and cover letter creation

·      Presentations and speeches

·      Scholarship applications, proposals and grants

"Sue was very helpful, supportive, responsive, and effective when it came to helping me as I wrote my essays. I got into my first choice school thanks to her. I recommend her, highly!"

Tulane undergraduate, Class of 2021

"Thank you for your work with our son. It was wonderful to have you as a skilled, objective consultant for him.  You helped him to build and sustain the momentum he needed to complete this challenging task."

Parent of student, accepted to all four of the colleges he applied to in 2017



Say What? charges a rate of $100 per hour for all writing coaching. I will invoice you and you can pay by check or with a credit card via PayPal (with a 3% payment fee).

For the College Essay Application Coaching, I expect to work with each student for a minimum of 3 hours, and up to 6 hours. This may vary depending on how many essays must be written, and how the student fares in the writing process. After the first session, I will apprise parents of the plan, schedule, and estimated hours required to complete the process.

More about the College Essay Coaching Process:

Students --  get your foot off your throat, and release your singular voice to make that bleary-eyed admissions officer, cry out, “Yes, we want you!” 


We’ll get a sense of each other, You’ll bring a piece of your writing that you feel good about and we’ll talk about your experience as a writer. We’ll do a quick exercise exchanging adjectives that describe who we are.  You’ll share the list of the schools you plan to apply to.  

We’ll consider the audience for your essay, and examine what makes an essay strong. What do admissions people look for in an essay and how can you get their attention?  Your story must have conflict, tension, and drama. You need to show, not just tell. Details and dialog matter. Reflection must resonate. I’ll give you some stand out essays to read at home and next time we’ll talk about what makes them sing.

You’ll identify 5 of your Aha! moments - big or small life experiences that catalyzed you, caused you to stop in your tracks, reevaluate, think differently, make a change.  You’ll refer back to these moments and your adjective list as we brainstorm and refine essay topics and develop your essay narratives.

We’ll review and select prompts, go over application essay requirements and deadlines, and come up with a plan and schedule for managing multiple application essay submissions.

We’ll do a short free write using prompts that grab you. Get out of your head, open your heart, and let loose with your words. The product of this won’t be pretty or neat or organized.  Don’t think about where you’re going, just take off --write like you talk and let the story unfold.

We’ll look at your free write, and come up with additional questions that will help you expand, focus, deepen, and structure your essay. 

Homework: You’ll use these questions and your free write copy to create a first draft of the essay that I’ll expect you to send to me before our next session.


We’ll circle back to discuss the elements of a strong essay, using examples from the essays that you read.

We’ll look at your first draft and I’ll give you detailed editorial feedback.  You’ll incorporate this feedback into a second draft .

If we didn’t get to all the prompts, we’ll do free writes for any additional prompts you want to tackle and repeat the process.

Homework: After this session, you will write your second and possibly final draft, that you will send me by an agreed upon date.


We’ll review feedback and editorial input and work to finalize all of your application essays. 

Depending on your strategy and plan for completing essay requirements, and your writing comfort and ability, additional sessions and more time may be necessary.

If you get stuck, blocked, overwhelmed, or uninspired at any point in the process, just contact your writing coach.