writer | college essay coach


Book Reviews

Stone Garden

Moynahan’s...novel is about grief. It is also fun to read. Everyone should have a friend like [the narrator] Alice. ~New York Times Book Review  
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Moynahan’s gift to her reader is this fully realized character; I found myself missing Alice’s voice. ~Chicago Tribune

Stone Garden by Molly Moynahan is such a literary treat. Moynahan is a new voice that knows how to tell a story. ~Teen Voice

Well-told...moving...Moynahan has crafted an excellent story. ~Dallas Morning Star-Telegram

Moynahan’s smooth, playful prose is engaging. ~Publishers Weekly

Alice McGuire...is just as smart and funny as Holden Caulfield...[Her] voice is newly wise and altogether heartbreaking....Remarkable. ~Trenton Times


Parting is All We Know of Heaven

So honest, so sad and so consistently entertaining . . . Moynahan's first novel will win her more than a few instantly loyal fans. ~San Francisco Chronicle

Moynahan is sparse and restrained in her use of emotive language…So absorbed was I by this book that I read it in one exhausting sitting …It is, in a word, powerful. ~More Magazine

Full of anger and compassion. ~Madison Smartt Bell

Contains more real energy, passion, humour and drama than half a dozen restrained and overwritten yuppie novels. ~Alison Lurie

An entertaining first novel ... an effective insight into the raw pain of loss. ~Daily Mail

Moynahan is a talented writer who is not afraid to expose every raw nerve. ~The Sunday Times


Pitch Perfect: How to write a successful college admission essay

Molly Moynahan is an accomplished writer, having published novels, plays, newspaper columns and her own blog. As a teacher and writer myself, I understand how difficult it can be to help others find the voice in their writing that makes their work uniquely theirs. In Moynahan's book, she offers numerous activities in that spirit – to help young writers find their voices, their topics, their stories.

The book is a how-to guide with plenty of questions and open-ended spaces that are designed to get students looking inward at themselves before beginning the writing of their college essays. The book addresses all parts of the writing process, but for me, the emphasis on students knowing themselves was the strongest piece. Moynahan includes topics, suggestions, and a world of quotations from other writers to motivate kids to write. She offers insight about writing about memories, advice for non-standard prompts, and suggestions for remembering the audience.

What the book does not contain are actual student essays, and I think that's good. Too often, guides to essay-writing are simply collections of other people's essays. Here, Moynahan chooses to keep it simple instead, focusing on the teenaged writer.

For the student who really has trouble getting started, this activity book offers great tips. Moynahan's reputation as an effective writing coach is based on her success with these tips across the nation. ~
John Carpenter

I just finished reading Pitch Perfect: How to Write a Successful College Admission Essay. It is a terrific book to teach students how to put together an essay that will impress college admissions officials. I wish it would have been available when I was still teaching high school English. During my final several years teaching AP English, I always allowed a couple weeks in the fall to help students write a college admission essay. I liked the assignment because it helped me learn a lot about my students early in the year, it helped students who were required to submit an essay, and it was very popular with parents. Molly Moynahan's book would have been extremely helpful.

Pitch Perfect: How to Write a Successful College Admission Essay is practical, concise, and fun. It covers everything from the incubation of a topic to the final proofreading and editing. It is certainly user-friendly for students and teachers. I highly recommend this book for students, parents, and teachers! ~Jerry Mcginley

Interview for Pitch Perfect: How to Write a Successful College Essay ~Caroline Leavittville

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