Writing contests personal essays for college

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Writing contests personal essays for college

Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! A fantastic first-person essay is the best way for an unknown writer to see print fast. As a memoirist by day and creative nonfiction teacher by night, I am constantly thrilled and astounded by how far a heartfelt three pages can take you.

So before picking up a pen or turning on your computer, ask yourself: Where am I aiming this? So I revised, throwing in that my mother was an orphan who had only one daughter, as well as violins in the background the lingering ghost of my dead grandmother. The editor bought it on my first try.

Well, the harder you work, the luckier you get. Nobody had to know how long ago my crazy carnal coed days were.

writing contests personal essays for college

The first mistake I often see new writers make is to pick lightweight topics that have already been everywhere. Sorry, but no editor I know wants a mild-mannered slice of life from an unknown scribe on how cute your kids or your cats are.

The worst experience of my life. The day I got held at gunpoint. The first assignment I give my students is: Write three pages about your most humiliating secret.

Ask yourself the Passover question: Why is this night different than all other nights? Here are some intensely intimate subjects tackled by authors I know that led to big bylines: Liza Monroy chronicled marrying her best gay friend for a green card in PsychologyToday.

Cat Marnell confessed her longtime pill addiction in Vice. David Itzkoff went to therapy with his cocaine-addicted father in NewYork magazine. Aspen Matis hiked 2, miles to walk off a rape in Modern Love. Maria Andreu confessed in Newsweek to being an illegal alien.

Luckily, my weekly writing group, tough editors and even my therapist help push me to go darker and examine my motives, pain, problems and regrets. With practice, you can learn to dig deeper, too. A smart way to a quick sell is to use newsworthy pegs to frame your foibles.

writing contests personal essays for college

As an editor once drummed into my class: Even students who choose extreme topics and traumas tend to pick obvious angles that editors still see too much of: So my student Bryan Patrick Miller twisted his theme. They are stuck in a bad relationship or lousy addiction that has no ending or solution in sight.

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Teen Ink, a national teen magazine, book series, and website devoted entirely to teenage writing, art, photos and forums. Students must be age to .

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Scholarship Essay Contests. Not everyone can boast an amazing GPA, a scroll of extracurricular activities, and top marks on their standardized tests. UDPATE: For the latest version of this list, subscribe to Writerland in the right sidebar to receive 31 Great Places to Publish Personal Essays in your inbox!.

Meghan. I frequently receive e-mails from people looking for places to publish their personal essays. They can be the most important components of your application—the essays. It’s a chance to add depth to something that is important to you and tell the admissions committee more about your background or goals.

31 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions With Cash Prizes