Coaching and Advising

Relentless Optimism

Stuck on your college essays?  Wondering where to start? 

Successful college essays tell an honest and engaging story. As a New York Times bestselling novelist and retired English professor, storytelling is one of my passions. I offer expert coaching and upbeat support through the process of creating original essays, building compelling applications, and presenting a memorable portrait that reflects who you are, what you’ve achieved, and everything you’ll offer your future college community.

I have 30+ years experience teaching literature and creative writing, advising undergraduate and graduate students, and mentoring scholars of all ages and interests through a wide range of applications. I volunteer regularly at local libraries offering drop-in college essay and application support. Recent advisees have been selected for the Bank of America Student Leaders Program, the PEN American Writing For Justice Program, a FIRST Tech Challenge Dean’s List Award, a Coca-Cola Scholarship, two National Merit Scholarships, the Gore Scholarship at Wichita State, and the SELF Scholarship from the University of Kansas School of Engineering.

Sessions and Rates:

General Consult:  Bring a parent or guardian.  I’ll answer your questions and point you toward resources.  May be repeated once per year.  9th grade and up.

                  Session:  50 minutes.   Fee: 50.00 

Essay Coaching and Application Support:  By arrangement with high school juniors and seniors who have completed at least one consult.  Brainstorming, drafting, revising, verbal and written feedback, comprehensive application review.  Contact me at