Sep 062018

Tell ItX2 card
I understand if you are 
reading this, you want colleges to beg you to come to their school. These steps can help you stand out from the competition. Imagine a group of professors, staff members or student assistants sitting in a dimly lit room with stacks of entrance essays looming above them. They have read it all.

This scene is an echo of every writing assignment, every author’s plight, every submission to an editor. How to make the cut, the sale, the publication—that is the question. In all forms of journalism, even letter writing defining your audience and hooking them to engage in your cause is first and foremost.

Like a letter home to your parents asking for more money, an outstanding college application essay needs to:

• Be engaging at the start (hook reader)
• Which means you need to know your reader
• Reveal something unique about who you are
• Get personal
• Connect with your reader
• Show your grit (raw determination)
• Express how you think and what you value
• Have a sharp focus
• Be memorable

Always avoid one of the killer essay pitfalls: listing accomplishments and activities.

Five tips for writing your own college application essay:

1. Share a personal life story similar to those in the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies or my book, Cruisin’ Thru Life ~ Dip Street and Other Miracles. If you include a personal story in your essay, you can showcase your personality traits and your core values. In a letter to your parents, you can show them the reasons for needing more money.

• You can engage your essay audience in the beginning by using an anecdote.
• Your essay is personalized when you include a real-life story full of emotions.

2. Include a story with a problem: To ensure your essay will be engaging, memorable and will define who you are: Explain what you learned from the experience. If you include a few personal narratives in your essay, you reveal how you think, reason and what you value. Then when you analyze what you learned in the process, you reveal your ability to learn and grow, think, reflect, and question all of life’s experiences.

• Show your ability to problem solve
• Learn from your mistakes
• Seize the day
• Face life with determination
• Be creative
• Show your grit

3. The third tip in writing your essay requires that you take a life lesson beyond how it affected you. By slipping in other lessons you reveal more depth of your personality and life experience. Choose stories that show:
• Critically and reflective thinking.
• How you intend to use what you learned in your future goals and dreams
• Sorties that present yourself as someone who is forward-thinking, ambitious and caring.

4. Weave in other examples where you learned and changed your life for the good.

  • Choose stories that show different character traits

5. Express how you plan to use what you learned in your future life.

  • Add stories that show what you learned and expand on how this will help in the future.

While practicing the craft of writing a college application essay for the school of your dreams, write and submit stories to They might pay you $200 for tomorrows assignment.

Erase all the crude things you’ve posted on social media and add some of your stories to your sites. You’ll be amazed at how friends and family will share their stories and this will trigger your memory of small events that will enhance your essay.

If nothing else, this personal narrative form of writing is an excellent method to use to ask your parents for more money next year.

Dec 022017
Fun with Texas Songs

Fun with Sommer Elementary 2nd Grade and their teacher Sue Beardsley. The best part is when the 2nd-graders sing. I talked about “The Yellow Rose of Texas” and “Deep in the Heart of Texas” and of course–my books and writing games.  Nepris did an amazing job of filtering my wrinkles and cutting mistakes. Texas Songs [read more…]

Nov 152017
Free Games

Here are two free games from Teach Writing Without a Pencil. Click on the pdf file for the game you want to print.  Please do not print for your friends, however, share this site for them to download their own free copy. You can also print a copy for you principal of the Tell It [read more…]

Nov 132017
Got Hat. Riding to Rescue Young Authors!

Yes, I am back in the saddle again. Hat,  boots and fully load with answers on being an Author. Yes, Im exhsusted just from getting the boots on.  But I get to hang with darling, Trail Blazers. There might be a few young authors.

Nov 082017
Teach Writing On Sale $.99 Today

Get a special price from November 8- 17 for a Kindle version.  Keep your curriculum. Add Fun! $ .99 today and $ 1.99 later in the week. Teach Writing Without a Pencil is a collection of games and activities to help students improve their writing skills. Strong verbs, authentic voice, cohesive flow, and the joy of [read more…]

Nov 042017
Great Time at Acton Elementary

There’s not many times that I’ve been more proud. Imagine being me–the youngest of eight, daughter of a share-cropper, dyslexic me–telling kids about how to be an author/editor. Then 5 kids run up after the talk with huge smiles saying, “I’m dyslexic!” An echo of “me too” bouncing around between them.   Talking to the [read more…]

Sep 052017
Ultimate Optimism

“I’m still hoping that yesterday will get better.” ~ Linus Be proactive – Start playing Teach Writing Without a Pencil~Writing Games and Activities today so yesterday’s test will be better.

Sep 022017
Book Title Crazy

Book Title Game: Ruin a book title with one letter or sound like “sn” for “st” and silent letters don’t count. Example: Lard of the Rings. This book game idea comes from Carey Dyer.  Carey is one of my favorite entertainers/worship leaders/authors. (Crazy title, I know! He is crazy, transparent and truly sincere. For him, [read more…]