Elucido: Make Your Written Work Shine
 
 
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about ME

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I am a Louisiana native now living in Chevy Chase, MD. Following high school graduation, I attended Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where I studied Comparative Religion and European History and was actively engaged in the student admissions council.

I obtained a master’s degree in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania, worked in undergraduate admissions at both the University of Chicago and Columbia University, spent a year as a college counselor at an education consultancy in Boston, and then earned a second master’s degree, this one in Human Development and Psychology, from Harvard University. Subsequently, I worked as an adjunct admissions officer for Columbia University until my first son was four.

My area of expertise is editing. I’m a writer and editor who, in addition to having my own work published, has advised scores of college applicants and professionals intent on returning to graduate study on crafting personal essays that best depict their academic interests and goals. My objective with students is to help them apply to schools where they will thrive and be happy. I also love editing resumes, cover letters, and larger bodies of work including essays and manuscripts.

In addition to editing and writing, I am a cooking instructor, avid gardener, reader, and the mother of two spirited boys. I believe deeply that each of us has multiple gifts and passions and that full lives allow space for and celebration of all.

 
 
 
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Services

 

undergraduate and graduate school application essays

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Undergraduate applicant essay work begins with a family meeting unless otherwise desired. Subsequent work is done one-on-one with the student in person and through email.

Long-distance clients should fear not! All editing work can easily be done via email and Skype/FaceTime. I've worked with people in California and Louisiana, Washington and Illinois, Guatemala and Europe, and we connected seamlessly.

From initial brainstorming to polishing the last draft, I am happy to start working with students at any point during their essay writing process. It is my goal to foster a relaxed, thoughtful, productive atmosphere of trust in which students express themselves freely, and I learn what academic passions and extracurricular pursuits make them tick.

Most undergraduate and graduate school applications offer multiple opportunities for the student to make the paper personal. From short-answer responses and extracurricular activity descriptions to the primary essay, the written portions of school applications are great ways to make oneself known and engaging. I partner with each student and see myself as a supportive teammate on the road to polished applications that reflect the whole of the unique individual.

Interview prep

Many schools offer applicants the opportunity to interview on campus or with an alumni representative in your home area. It is empowering and helpful to practice answering all manner of potential interview questions in advance of the real thing. I provide students as many mock interview practice sessions as needed to feel confident and ready.
 

Other Editorial Services

In addition to application essays, I take great pride in helping people craft powerful resumes and cover letters, and in polishing manuscripts of all size and shape. Recently, I assisted an arts and development professional with a complete overhaul of her extensive resume, and had the great fortune to edit a memoir (just published) by a Civil Rights journalist.

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Writing has changed and improved my life in countless ways. I believe deeply that any sort of writing, especially if creative and/or personal, is a portal into parts of ourselves that might otherwise remain unknown. Whether telling a college more about who you are as a young adult or a potential boss about why you are the perfect candidate for the job or readers about your fears and hopes and beliefs, you're coming to better understand and know yourself, and that is never a bad thing. To partner with others as they travel these roads is an honor.


 
 
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Satisfied CLIENTs

Parents

Emily was fantastic to work with, warm and engaging and truly helpful. She took the time to get to know our daughter’s background and personality, and was able to make insightful observations that guided the development of her main essay as well as the supplementals many colleges require. Emily’s editorial suggestions were made in a way that helped our daughter hone her story without feeling criticized or pressured in the process. We were all happy with her final essay, and the resulting acceptance to her top choice college!
— Jean G., grateful parent of college applicant; Seattle
The college essay-writing process for our son (and our family!) could not have gone more smoothly thanks to Emily’s wonderful work. From the very beginning, Emily’s joyful and positive demeanor put my son completely at ease. He felt that Emily genuinely understood him and the process, and he trusted her. While no teenager is happy about writing 20+ essays including a dozen titled “why I want to go to [blank] University,” our son became genuinely enthusiastic about the process of self-discovery and telling his story through writing. It was crystal clear that Emily truly saw the light in him and, with her help, it shone through a creative and lyrical voice in his essays. Emily does a good job of breaking the process up into manageable steps and our son felt calm and in control throughout; he would come home energized and confident after each of his sessions with her. Emily’s experience as a college admissions officer who has read thousands of essays is also quite apparent as she helped our son avoid many of the clichés and trite sentiments that are all too common in applications. We only read his essays when he was ready to submit his applications and were AWED by how his writing beautifully and faithfully captured his uniqueness. Our son recognized that he found a loyal supporter and true friend in Emily. Our entire family is deeply grateful and would gladly share our personal experience upon request.
— Parents of a senior at Sidwell Friends School; DC
Thank you again so very much for all that you have done for our daughter. Her confidence is restored and she is eager to keep writing. Thank you for working your magic. It is nice to see her happy. I am so grateful to you for guiding her (all of us quite frankly) through this process.
— Mother of college applicant (now at Cornell)

Students

Coming into the college application process, I was intimidated and a little bit scared. I wanted my essays to not only show intelligence and curiosity, but also to truly communicate who I am. Emily helped me to do that. I think something I struggled with was having all of this passion for learning, or passion for certain schools, that wasn’t fully translated onto the page. And she helped me to bring that out, to zero in on the most important things to me, not the things I thought others wanted to hear. She was always conscious of keeping my voice in each piece, helping me to strengthen my ideas rather than changing them entirely. I am so grateful to have worked with her.
— High school senior applying to college; IL
Before meeting with Emily, I was struggling to find the right tone in my essays. Emily helped me find my voice by asking probative questions. She worked with me patiently until I was satisfied with every single word in my essays. I left each session with Emily having accomplished much more than I thought possible. Not only is Emily very focused and dedicated to the students she works with, but she is also so much fun to work with that I looked forward to every meeting.
— High school senior applying to college; Bethesda
Emily has been wonderful to work with! She not only polished my writing style but also ensured that my message was clear and concise. Her suggestions made me think deeper about the topic that I was writing about and therefore my final draft was a true reflection of my passions. She is a strong editor with years of experience in college counseling and I would not trust anyone else for suggestions during this stressful time. Her response time is super quick which allowed me to continuously improve on my essay without interruptions. She is a true expert and I highly recommend her!
— High school senior applying to college, (now at Cornell); DC
Emily made me feel completely comfortable and relaxed throughout the revision process until we had developed a truly strong and compelling piece.
I felt that she offered useful and wise guidance and suggestions on strengthening my writing without taking away my voice in any way.
Emily has been a tremendous resource to me throughout my college application process.
I would highly encourage my friends to work with her to help face any and all writing challenges.
— Andy Harris, (now at UC Berkeley)
I was introduced to Emily through a mutual connection and she provided me with invaluable feedback towards completing my essays. She helped me clearly defined my goal and the reason for pursuing an MBA and also reviewed them several times. The end product was very impressive and her insight helped me differentiate myself.
— Mit Shah, MBA applicant (now heading to Wharton)

manuscript, resume, and cover letter clients

A friend referred me to Emily as I bemoaned my outdated resume. As an active member of the community, a stay-at-home mom, and a business partner on our family farm, I was looking to reach beyond my comfort level to work towards a larger goal. Emily helped me put my varied but applicable background into a cohesive and compelling resume and cover letter that spoke to the position I was applying for. Her turn around time was impressive - often just minutes - and our FaceTime chats were a blast. She helped move me into the 21st century by recommending a switch from my beloved .hotmail account to .gmail. Her savvy wordsmithing and suggestions not only helped my resume, but also helped me recognize the contributions I’ve made to my community, even as I stayed at home with my kids. Thank you, Emily! I know this won’t be the last time our paths cross.
— Deirdre Alderfer
Emily Nichols Grossi was an invaluable editor on my most recent book, Deep South Dispatch: Memoir of a Civil Rights Journalist. She has a sharp eye and a quick mind for both the details and the larger message. One of her greatest assets is her passion for the project. I highly recommend her.
— Anne Farris Rosen, journalist and author
Recently Emily Nichols Grossi helped me update my 13-year-old, three-page resume. Emily not only edited it to one page but also pulled together a list of my skills that could be used in a cover letter. I was delighted with the result!
It is a difficult task to prepare one’s own resume-there is a tendency to want to list every single thing and to elaborate. Emily is extraordinarily skilled at “trimming the fat” and producing a succinct document that clearly illustrates one’s abilities.
I would encourage anyone needing assistance with any kind of written work: resumes, application essays, cover letters, etc. to absolutely work with Emily. I recommend her without reservation.
— Susan Reed, professional
 
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rates

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My hourly rate is $120, and I bill by the minute. Time is charged for all in-person meetings and for editing and consulting work done via email and phone. I keep a detailed work log for each client and send invoices monthly. Payment is due within fourteen days of receipt of bill.
A little time can go a long way as I'm an efficient editor who loves immersing myself in the work.

A $60 fee will be charged for each hour of appointments missed without prior notice.


 

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CONTACT

Please call 703-389-3769 to schedule an appointment or to speak with me. If I am unavailable, please leave a message providing a convenient time to reach you and be sure to state your phone number clearly.  You can also email me at  emgrossi@gmail.com or use the contact form below.