Independent Creative Writing... as an EC?

<p>Has anyone had any experience with the Concord Review? I've never heard of it until now... it looks legit- is it highly regarded?</p>

<p>Definitely submit a writing sample with your app as "supplementary materials," and definitely keep it short. Although I had theater as my major extracurricular thing, when I was applying, I wrote my essay about my passion for writing (poetry), and then I submitted about ten pages of writing (mostly poetry). I didn't have any publication credits or even any awards really to show the adcoms, but I guess between the essay and the sample they got that I was really into it, and in my admissions letter (ED to Columbia), the adcom mentioned something about writing or creative writing or poetry or something on one of the little welcome letters, so I know it made an impact on her decision, since it's like the main thing she remembered about me.</p>

<p>I will add that now, after a few more years experience, I feel that the stuff I submitted to them was by and large pretty weak. But I think something like a chapter from a novel, even if it isn't the world's best novel (yet), really contributes a lot to showing that a student has passion. I mean, no matter how good you are, whether or not an adcom will like your work is a crapshoot; you might just get someone who doesn't like sci-fi or horror or fantasy or realism or romance or whatever. But even the fact that you put something together will show how much time and effort you've put into this, and how much passion you have for it. Also, if you've written in a variety of mediums/styles, I would submit that. For instance, if you've written a sonnet (or better yet, a pantoum or a villanelle or a sestina whatever else), even if you don't feel like it's your best work, if you think it's decent, that might be good to add to your sample (keeping in mind that it should be at or below 10 pages, generally), just because with something in free-verse, quality is debatable (especially to people who aren't really into literature), but if you submit a sonnet, it'll show that at least you learned how to work with meter and rhyme, which are more obvious, concrete "skills" if that makes sense.</p>

<p>Another great thing to do is to show your work to a teacher. Even if it's not a teacher that you're going to ultimately get recs from, that's a great thing to do to a) share your poetry with someone who you know has some appreciation for poetry (if it's like an English teacher or something). I'm pretty sure one of my teacher recs mentioned my love for poetry, although I haven't seen it so I don't know for sure. </p>

<p>Anyway, both Kenyon College and (I believe) Princeton have poetry competitions for undergrads. I don't know about short stories and novels. As for publishing and competitions, you might look at Poet's Market 2010 and Novel and Short Story Writer's Market 2011, both of which have up-to-date listings about magazines looking to publish writing and competitions and the like.</p>

<p>Also, I will add that a lot of schools have fairly new creative writing departments (Columbia just added the major a few years back), and so they're looking for people to support new programs like that.</p>

<p>Above all, nice to see a fellow writer on college confidential, and best of luck with your applications!</p>

<p>scrivener - It looks like a very big deal. 93 of the previous authors went to Harvard, 77 to Yale, and many many more to other Ivies and top schools. I'm definitely going to put in alot of effort, see if I can get published in it, although its unlikely (the website says they accept about 7% of submitted essays).</p>

<p>silverchris9 - Wow! That was very helpful! Haha. I think I'm going to submit the first chapter from my second novel: its roughly nine pages, probably some of my best work. And maybe this one-page soliloquy that I wrote, my English teacher loved it. Thanks again for the help!</p>

<p>I would try to work on lit mag if at all possible, especially if it's possible to quit another club to make room for it, but if you can't find the time, don't join if it'll take away from your independent writing.</p>

<p>Other posters have made great ideas--basically, enter contests, try to get published, and submit a supplement. </p>

<p>It's also worth mentioning that you may be able to get in touch with a local professor or poet and work with them. I emailed a poet in my area, and we're communicating through email while I'm at my state's governor's school and will meet in person when I get back--all because I emailed him on a whim. It's nothing official, but it is a way to get more involved with writing and get feedback on independent work.</p>

<p>@ decrescendo, the reason for my skepticism is that you must pay $40 to submit an essay to the Concord Review, and $200 for the National Writing Board to review your paper. Generally, the rule of thumb is that anything which requires payment isn't very prestigious- is this the case here?</p>

<p>glassesarechic - Thanks for the advice. I'm one of my AP English teacher's favorite students and she's somewhat of an independent writer herself, so I think I'll get a good recommendation from her, plus she gives great feedback and doesn't hold back when judging work.</p>

<p>scrivener - Woaah, really? $240 to be considered? If that's the case, never mind lol... I can't afford to pay 1/4-grand just to be considered for a competition whose acceptance rate for submissions is equal to Harvard College's acceptance rate haha.</p>

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What s/he said! My son listed three hours a week spent answering questions on a Q&A web site and got accepted almost everywhere. They want to know what you do. You write, so tell them all about it. Good luck!</p>

<p>Curious about where you're planning on applying. Is University of Iowa -- renowned for its creative writing major -- among the schools?</p>

<p>And it has wonderful, short, summer writing workshops: Iowa</a> Summer Writing Festival</p>

<p>Northstarmom - As of now, I'm applying to Yale, Stanford, Brown, Dartmouth, Middlebury, Tufts, Rice, and LSU (safety).</p>

<p>I'd love to attend any of the schools listed, but I'm most likely attending Rice because of its proximity to my family and the great aid they give (I'm a URM and I have pretty good stats and EC's). I was actually considering UIowa because of the writing program, but I decided against it because of the school's large size.</p>