Our 500


Recovering Lawyer. Double Ivy Leaguer.

Carnivore. Non-Smoker. Capricorn. 

Saints Fan. 

5 Hundred Words is a writing consulting agency owned by Tanya Ponton.

She’s a writer. Like, the whole writer in New York, has the TV script out there, is working on the book, over-caffeinated, Vitamin D deficient, reads Poets & Writers features and ads, kind of writer. But it gets worse. She even liked writing the college application essays. In fact, a couple of schools that sent back the thick envelope even added a handwritten note about how much they liked her essay. This isn’t the kind of thing you share at cocktail parties, but it’s relevant here, so for the haters — here’s proof.

A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University School of Law, Tanya practiced capital markets for many years — primarily in London — but also in New York. Naturally, that career lent itself to an intensive amount of dense and voluminous writing that required fastidious attention to detail. It also required very late nights, lots of coffee and the steadfast belief that someday life would be better. Kind of like high school. But paid.

She then transitioned to a career in talent management for a legal services company where she managed a human resources team based in Asia, Europe and the U.S. In that role she oversaw the hiring of hundreds of lawyers. Her writing responsibilities included drafting perfomance reviews, vendor agreements, public relations materials and marketing content. Lots of writing. Some boring, some not so bad.

Tanya is now a full-time writer working as both a business and fiction writer. She was most recently selected to attend the 2014 Yale Writer’s Workshop, studying under faculty that included Colum McCann and Rick Moody. When not working on her goal to write Showtime’s next hit, she’s pursuing a Master’s in Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

It’s fun. It’s terrifying. And, yes, she knows it’s weird to enjoy helping people write college essays. But you know what they say about one man’s problem being another man’s treasure (or, in this case, another man’s college essay). Exploit the weirdness. She won’t mind.