Most Proposals

sage advice from brown’s sassiest satirists

Ask A Professional Writer Who’s Really Busy Right Now, Okay?

Dear Jamie,

I am a high school student and I am applying to college this year.  My schools are very competitive and I really want to stand out from other candidates.  I was wondering if you could give me some quick tips for improving my essays.


Anxious Applicant

Dear Anxious,

Listen, I’m right in the middle of something right now and I wish you hadn’t bothered me.  But I’ll answer your letter anyway since I’m a nice guy who is contractually obliged to do so.  Whatever you are writing, whether it’s an essay or a court-mandated apology for drunkenly assaulting a fast food restaurant’s mascot, you must always keep your audience in mind.  In this case, your audience is a college admissions board, which, if today’s undergrad admissions boards are anything like the grad school review board for Northwestern’s creative writing department, is a bunch of bastards who don’t recognize real talent and can go fuck themselves.

Dear Jamie,

When I sit down at my desk and I try to write, it always feels like the ideas are there but I just can’t express them.  How do I overcome this?

-Distraught Desk-Sitter

Dear Distraught,

Seriously?  The day before the court hearing and on top of all the other shit on my plate, I get not one but two emails from clueless writers?  Unbelievable.  First of all, it’s called writer’s block.  Second, I have it a hundred times worse than you right now so stop complaining.  And finally, leave me alone before I sue you for harassment.  There, there’s a writing tip for you.  Use transition words.

Dear Jamie,

In an age of so much distraction and technology overload, how do you manage to filter out all the distraction and find the time to write?

-Worried Writer

Dear Worried,

Literally any other week would have been better than this, Worried.  Any other week.  And don’t talk to me about distractions, you hypocrite.  You’re almost as bad as the people who arrest you for assaulting someone who readily admits he’s a ham-burgler.  Just deal with it, okay, whatever your problem is.  It’s 2 am and I still need to write an entire fucking column for Post-.