COACHING

My grandmother, Fannie Brafman Bloom, was one of the first kosher caterers in Milwaukee. I’m a decent baker, a fair cook, and I don’t garnish well, but like my grandmother, I love to be a part of big moments in people’s lives—weddings, b’nai mitzvah, transitions to college, you name it. These moments typically demand the kind of autobiographical writing that makes people break out in hives. Given the high stakes and higher levels of adrenaline, a blank computer screen can freeze up even the sharpest of wordsmiths.

Whether my clients are writing online dating profiles, corporate speeches, fiction, or essays, my process is the same. I first ask them to put away their keyboards and breathe. Then we talk. I rely on my interviewing skills to draw out my clients and help them hear their stories and strengths as well as identify and subsequently overcome the roadblocks that prevent them from expressing themselves on paper. The conversation will also guide us to a theme and a hook for their project, which leads to an outline. The outline then begets a draft which I help them shape.


Services

  • College and Graduate School Essays: I help clients cull their life experiences for a fresh topic and organize and shape their ideas. Ghost writing are services not provided, and editing is limited.
  • College Essay Workshops: For the past fifteen years, I’ve been teaching creative writing courses and working individually with teens on their essays. I’ve found that most college applicants assume that they must dazzle admissions officers with tales of climbing Mt. Everest, escaping a near death experience, or inventing the Post-it note. Not so! The best essays work because they showcase the student’s voice. Last June, I launched a college essay workshop and discovered that a rigorous and supportive environment helped kids find and tune their narrative voices and cull their life experiences for defining moments, big and small. By the end of each session, students will have completed a draft of a Common App essay, jump-started the entire application, and strengthened their writing skills.Autobiographical Writing: toasts, eulogies, tributes, dedications, personal statements, and b’nai mitzvah speeches for parents (not d’var torahs).
  • One-on-One Coaching: I work with professionals and fiction and essay writers who suffer from creative blocks or would like to improve their overall writing.

For more information about rates or availability, contact: Email


Testimonials

Michelle Brafman’s essay writing workshop is a MUST.  Working with Michelle, my kids produced interesting, authentic college essays in their own voice. Michelle is a wonderful teacher and editor and the improvement in their writing skills is evident. My kids are big fans of hers! -Parent

Michelle is an incredibly thoughtful close reader. Her editing was excellent. As importantly she was able to come up with multiple ideas to tell our child’s story in a way that was interesting and compelling. We would highly recommend her! – Parent

My daughter came home from Michelle’s workshop excited to write her essay. She really knows how to draw out the kids. – Parent

Michelle is a fantastic writing coach – Parent

Michelle Brafman has been giving me guidance on writing personal speeches for important family events for several years including a 40th birthday party and two b’nai mitzvah celebrations for my children. She gets to know what the subject means to you and guides you to finding a creative, descriptive and clear way to write it and say it. Michelle gives just enough but not too much feedback, and gives you the confidence that you can write. — Client

Whenever I have to deliver a speech or presentation, Michelle is my go-to. Her magical way of transforming my scattered thoughts into a cohesive, engaging, clever talk is amazing. — Client

Michelle skillfully helped my kids with their college application essays. Always respecting their ideas and writing styles, and posing the right questions challenging them to give their best. — Parent