Skip to content
Home » What Is a Creative Writing Sample?

What Is a Creative Writing Sample?

There is more than one kind of sample you will need for your creative writing degree. Most universities will require you to submit some original content as part of your application, and it is usually expected that this content will reflect your creative writing skills. However, while most universities may expect you to show off your creative side through your writing, not all of them will require you to do so. There are various different kinds of creative writing samples that you might encounter, so let’s explore what each one means.

An Essay

In a nutshell, an essay is just what it sounds like – an essay. An essay is a piece of writing that typically takes the form of an argument or a narrative. Think of the history books you’ve read – they’re mostly made up of essays! It is important to note here that while the term “essay” has become somewhat of a catchall for any non-fiction piece, it is more specifically used to refer to the prose writing that is usually associated with the English-speaking world. In other words, an “essay” is an English-style piece of writing.

A Short Story

A short story is, as the name would suggest, short – it can be no more than 500 words. Generally speaking, a short story is a narrative that is centered on an event, a place, or a person. It is not meant to be a complete work, but rather, a taste of the author’s work. Think of the short stories that were featured in The New Yorker in the 1950s and 1960s – many of those now classic stories were short stories at one point.

Just as with an essay, a short story only needs to represent your writing ability in a limited way. The style of the writing and the content should be interesting, and the piece should be able to show off your creative writing skills. Remember: shorter is better! If you can get your short story accepted, it will almost certainly improve your chances of being awarded a place on your preferred creative writing course.

A Longer Article

A longer article is a journalistic piece of writing. The main difference between a long article and a short story is that a long article tends to be more in-depth and have an additional section at the end that is meant to be the “conclusion” to the narrative. Essentially, a long article is a journalistic piece of writing that was intended to be read by a general audience. It is usually published in a magazine or a newspaper and may not necessarily be associated with any specific school or University.

If you are applying for a journalistic writing-related course such as English Literature, your first port of call should be your school’s English department. They will be able to help you identify the appropriate samples for your submission.

A Narrative Non-Fiction Piece

Narrative non-fiction is a more recent development in the field of creative writing, and it generally relates to the “memoirs” of famous people, famous births, and famous deaths. While a narrative non-fiction piece might at first appear to be similar to an essay or a short story in that it is meant to be a piece of writing that is centered on an event, it is actually a little bit different. Much like a novel, a narrative non-fiction piece is meant to be a complete account of the subject’s life, but it does not usually end with a “conclusion” or a “how to” piece that is relevant to the general public. Instead, a narrative non-fiction piece is typically made up of a number of short anecdotes about the subject’s life.

Why Should You Try To Get These Samples?

If you’re looking for advice on what kinds of content to include in your application, you’ve come to the right place! It is always best to consult with an academic adviser or English professor during your university career, as they will be the ones able to provide you with useful advice on your application materials. However, for now, you should familiarize yourself with the various kinds of content that you might encounter as part of your application.

When applying for university, the foremost thing you’ll need to have is sample essays, stories, and long articles to show off your creative side. These are the basic building blocks that help form the backbone of your application material. Even if you are applying for a course that isn’t directly related to writing, having some original content is always a good idea. It shows that you’ve been able to think outside of the box and come up with original content, which is something that will certainly appeal to any potential teacher or academic staff member.