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You've been asked to describe yourself in 650 words to an anonymous committee. There are thousands of other applicants for spots in the same small first-year class. What can you say to distinguish yourself? How can you get across your true strengths and personality in a couple short pages? How can you make them want to say yes? 


This task is a definite recipe for stress, but it doesn't have to be your downfall (or a reason to down a giant bag of M&Ms). You don't have to have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, patented a new technology, or appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert to show that you're an interesting thinker and person. You just have to write your story well.


This class will help you to craft that essay to cast yourself in a great light, let your authentic voice come through, and highlight your many strengths. We'll even have fun in the process! Come to this workshop ready to talk about yourself, brainstorm, help others tease out their stories, and have a lot of fun. We'll look at what makes an essay work, and what makes one flop. You'll end up with a strong, polished essay drafted for your application, and maybe even discover some important things about yourself in the process. 


As an Ivy League graduate, instructor at top-ranked universities across the country, and alumni interviewer, Rachel has insights from across the academic landscape to help you present yourself in the best light, and find the road less traveled.

This workshop will be capped at 5 students. 


Rachel is also available for one-on-one consultations in addition to this group workshop. Contact her here

The Common Application: Find Uncommon Ground
Dates: Saturday and Sunday, 10/8 and 10/9
Time: 1-3:30 pm each day
Instructor: Rachel Richardson 
Ages: High School (15-18) 
Genre: Essay 
Price: $245
Common Application, Uncommon Ground

Rachel Richardson is the author of two books of poetry, Copperhead and Hundred-Year Wave, both in the Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series. Her poetry has recently been featured in the New York Times, New England Review, and Slate, and her essays appear in the Kenyon Review, West Branch, and at the Poetry Foundation. Rachel has taught Composition and Creative Writing for a dozen years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Stanford University, and University of Michigan. She currently teaches graduate students in Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco. She grew up in Berkeley, attending Prospect-Sierra, Bentley, and Berkeley High School. She is a long-time alumni interviewer and class officer for her alma mater, Dartmouth College. 

More about Rachel:

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