Creative Writing Major Portfolio Requirements

Creative Writing Requirements

  1. Portfolio: Your portfolio should include no fewer than five and no more than seven pieces of original work written or revised during the last year.
    • The pieces must represent at least two of the following genres: fiction, poetry, spoken word, personal essay/memoir, screenwriting, playwriting, comics, and hybrid genres. You may also include select submissions in other mediums that showcase your interdisciplinary interests. 
      • Poetry: Your sample should include 1-4 poems.
      • Fiction: Your sample should include 1-3 stories, novel or story excerpts, or flash fiction pieces. Each piece should be fewer than 3,500 words.
      • Personal essay/memoir: Your sample should include 1-3 essays. Each piece should be fewer than 3,500 words.
      • Screenwriting: Your sample should be fewer than 20 pages.
      • Playwriting: Your sample should be fewer than 20 pages.
      • Hybrid genre: Your sample should include 1-3 hybrid genre pieces. Each piece should be fewer than 3,500 words.
    • Applicants who submit so-called "genre" fiction (science fiction, fantasy, etc.) are encouraged to also submit a sample of more realistic fiction. 
    • We are less interested in academic writing, like book analyses turned in for English classes. Include such work only if you think it shows us an important aspect of you as a writer, and avoid counting it toward your five required pieces.
    • No single submission should be longer than 4,000 words.
    • Work should be typed, in a standard format and font, double-spaced for prose, single-spaced for poetry—unless deviations are deliberate and integral to the text. 
    • Spoken word can be uploaded as standard audio or video files along with your written work.
    • Please submit all written work as PDF files. Video/audio may be submitted as mp3, mp4, .mov, or YouTube links.
  2. Video Introduction: Tell us about who you are as an artist. Record a short (2-5 minutes) video introduction, including information about your artistic journey, such as the kinds of classes or lessons you have taken, your artistic accomplishments, any awards you have won, groups you have participated in, artistic experiences that have been particularly meaningful, and anything else you would like for us to know about you as an artist.

Portfolio Guidance

Your writing portfolio should reflect your interests and abilities. Include examples of your best work. If you’re unable to present all of the suggested materials, please submit work that best showcases not only your skill level but also your potential and your range, including work that is still in progress. If we need to see more, we'll let you know. We look forward to reading your work!

How to Submit Your Materials

Please submit your writing portfolio online. Our application process provides further instructions on how to upload your files.

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Campus Visit

You can still visit our campus virtually! Our Virtual Resources and Events has a list of online events, student videos, slideshows of our residence halls, and a virtual 360° tour of our facilities, including The Writing House.

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