Billy Lombardo

Billy Lombardo is the author of The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories, The Man with Two Arms, Meanwhile, Roxy Mourns, and the forthcoming Morning Will Come. billy is the 2011 Nelson Algren Fiction Award winner. He is currently at work on the House of Fiction Deconstructed for the Apprentice Writer. He is the founder and managing editor of Polyphony Lit, a student-run, international literary magazine for high school writers and editors Billy holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College and can be reached through his author website, (where you can subscribe to his monthly newsletter, billy lit!!! You can also reach him through his writing and editing business, Writing Pros/e, at Born and raised in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, billy now lives in Albany Park.

The C.A.P.E. Crusade: Your Guide to a Great College Application Personal Essay

The C.A.P.E. Crusade is a refreshingly new take on the College Application Personal Essay, Billy Lombardo provides a balance of broad guidance and nitty-gritty tips to help young writers craft meaningful essays in response to what can feel like an impersonal process.

Whether you’ve got a support team of dozens behind you, or you’re going at it completely on your own, this book will get you through every step of the process. The C.A.P.E. Crusade anticipates the mental blocks, myths, misconceptions, and missteps that college essayists face, while covering myriad topics not explored in other books on the college essay:

  • Myths, complaints, and challenges of the College Application Personal Essay
  • Characteristics of great personal essays
  • An inexhaustible list of essay topics
  • The C.A.P.E. idea-generation prompts
  • Getting Past the Reluctance to Reveal
  • Making Use of Team You
  • Peer editing as a teaching tool
  • Braiding together seemingly disconnected topics
  • Memory
  • Closing the gap between oral and written expression
  • Common (and flawed) approaches to the C.A.P.E.

Billy comes at this subject with decades of experience as a teacher, as a scholar deeply immersed in literature and creative writing, and as an author published in every genre from articles, reviews, interviews, and essays, to poetry, flash fiction, nonfiction, short stories, novels, and plays. An award-winning writer, Billy has helped hundreds of students from around the world create successful College Application Personal Essays.