I make sense
of other people's mishmosh.
I'm a freelance writer and editor. I help people say what they want to say in a clear, concise way. I write and/or edit essays, web content, marketing decks, white papers, small business promotional material, proposals, and manuals. I also name things.
I write for non-profits and PR firms; I ghost for business leaders and laypeople. If there are words involved, I'm in.
My favorite is the work I do with kids on their college application essays. I love to help people find their voice. I do this work largely through The Essay House where we do workshops and one-on-one coaching.
I am also a certified AWA workshop leader (also known as the Amherst Writing Method), which I also do through Essay House, facilitating creative writing groups for kids and adults.
Last but not least, here's a link to a video for a book I edited:
Sweet Survival: Tales of Cooking and Coping
by Laura Zinn Fromm
The Seven Words I Cannot Say (Around My Children) - New York Times
Ungrounded - New York Times
Less Talk, More Therapy - New York Times (#1 Most Emailed Article)
The Good Egg - Full Grown People
Why Eighth Grade Boys Are the Best - Huffington Post
What Price Karma - Huffington Post
Next Stop: Dorm Sheets - Huffington Post
Dead After 50 - Huffington Post
Looking For a Sign - Huffington Post
A Writer of a Certain Age - Huffington Post
Roadrunner, Roadrunner - Montclair Patch
Sometimes kids need help writing personal essays – because most of them have not been shown how or don't have much practice in thinking about their lives as writing material. I don't write kids' essays for them. Aside from being unethical, it would rob them of an accomplishment they (all) end up very proud of.
I provide whatever help the writer needs -- brainstorming, deadlines, tools if they get stuck. I demystify the process and most kids find it very easy to do their writing once we talk.
I work with reluctant writers, unfocused writers, indecisive writers and, most often, stressed-out, overwhelmed writers, and they all do great work. I will get an essay out of a kid even if it requires a straitjacket and an ice pick (which, fortunately, it rarely does). And the essay will be great. How do I know that? Because, to paraphrase Flannery O'Connor: Anyone who has survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life.
Currently, most of my college essay work is through The Essay House. We do workshops and one-on-one coaching.
The kids I've worked with have been accepted into:
College of Charleston
High Point University
Hobart and William Smith
Lewis and Clark
New York University
SUNY - New Paltz
UC San Luis Obispo
University of Colorado-Boulder
University of Delaware
University of Maryland
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of New Hampshire
University of N Carolina-Chapel Hill
University of Puget Sound
University of Rhode Island
University of Richmond
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
"Working with Jess on my son’s college essay had an unexpected and vital upside. The individualized attention to his writing taught my son how to think about essay construction and editing in a new way. He came away with a much deeper appreciation for the process that he will use in college."
“Kind of wished we'd got him going with you a little sooner as his writing is looking up in class as well.”
"When it came time to write the personal essay for college applications, Jessica helped my daughter dig deep into her personal experience to develop prose that were authentic, well articulated and attention worthy. She managed to take the tangled brain of a teenager through a process that was challenging, and ultimately, highly rewarding. The results played out in my daughter's acceptances to schools, even when it was a reach."
"Under Jessica's guidance, the essay-writing experience could not have gone more smoothly.
My daughter found the brainstorming session and Jessica's organizational assistance invaluable, and we avoided the inevitable conflict that would have arisen had I taken on the editing and oversight of the writing process. Jessica helped keep the stress level at our house remarkably low throughout this process. My daughter's essay was a delightful and genuine reflection of her personality, and no doubt helped her gain admission to her first choice college."
"The college essay seemed like a daunting and overwhelming task that my child approached with procrastination and dread. After a brainstorm session with Jessica, she felt much more confident, and within a couple of weeks we had something that she was proud of and it was written in her voice. Jessica made the whole process actually enjoyable and as a parent, how great to have the burden taken off my shoulders."
"Jessica not only was able to help my sons improve their essays but she relieved an enormous amount of stress in our household. Both my sons found her style to be direct and easy. She was able to help them find their own voice in their writing, providing them with ample encouragement to produce excellent essays. The essay is the worst part of the application process. Jessica helped my kids get it done before I strangled them!"
"Jessica is simply the best. We came to her after we read a lukewarm college essay our son had written working with an expensive college counselor. In two short sessions, our son knocked out a wonderful essay. Impressively, he wrote every sentence himself. Jessica has a knack for getting results, even from the most reluctant writers. She's genius! I can't recommend her highly enough."
"Jessica was not only immensely helpful with my college application, but also taught me writing techniques I have continued to use throughout high school."
"I was told it over and over, but the fact that the college application process is daunting and overwhelming didn't really sink in until I was reading ten different prompts for seven different colleges and didn't know where to begin. Having an experienced outside perspective to help unscramble and validate my ideas was invaluable. Jessica was able to make sense of thoughts I could not while still allowing me to have my own voice. She boosted my confidence in my writing and, dare I say, made the process fun. For this, I am eternally grateful."
"Before working with Jessica I was struggling with creating a college essay that showcased who I was. The writing activities she had me do we're so helpful in bringing out a unique premise to my college essay and helping me realize aspects of myself I wanted colleges to see. I felt so comfortable working with her throughout the writing process; she transformed writing my college essay from something stressful to a fun experience in which I learned a lot."
"Jessica Wolf was very quick to respond and helped me create quality work. Most importantly, she helped me keep my voice in my writing. Jessica is extremely fun to work with and she relieved the stress from the college process. She is awesome."
"I chose Jessica Wolf to help me with my college essay because she has a diverse background in writing. She was extremely helpful and efficient. Even after meeting her in person, we would stay in touch via email or text. She helps you tell your story and/or explain an experience you have gone through in an intriguing way."
"Jessica won't simply fix the grammar of your essay. She is honest and caring enough to tell you how to make the essay better. And she will respect if you disagree. It was really hard for me to come up with topics and she asked me questions that eventually led me to realize what I could write about. She didn't come up with topics for me, she truly helped, so that the essay was still my own. I've had full texting conversations with her at 11 p.m. on a Friday night as she helped me organize my thoughts and ideas. If you're not totally satisfied with your essay, she will help you come up with more options and ideas. She puts 100 percent into her work!"