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The 7 Biggest Mistakes Personal Essay Writers Make

Watch out for these pitfalls when penning your true story

By Joel Schwartzberg - March 19, 2012
As an official judge for the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition (a personal essay contest which crowned its winners this month), I read a lot of essays, the quality of which fluctuated from powerful to pointless. Despite this range, what struck me most were the handful-and-a-half common, correctable mistakes that kept many essays, even potentially wonderful ones, from truly hitting their mark.

With input from writers, teachers and magazine editors, here are seven of those mistakes and ways to avoid or correct them so that you can increase your chances of getting published, winning contests, or simply bringing your writing to the next level....

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