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How to Format a Creative Writing Portfolio

The Creative Writing Portfolio is one of the many varied Portfolio types that the PMI (The Professional Publishing Management Institute) offers. This 40 question form allows you to demonstrate your professionalism and the value that you bring to the table. It is usually composed of four parts: a cover letter, an article or story, a critical analysis, and a summary of your overall approach. To familiarize yourself with the details of this Portfolio item, check out the guide that follows.

The Cover Letter

The cover letter is only required for the Creative Writing Portfolio; it is not attached to the article or story but it accompanies it. This is a letter that you write to the editor of the publication that you are applying to join. In this letter, you introduce yourself and your credentials, and give a brief overview of the kind of work that you can produce for their publication. As the editor of the journal will almost certainly be reading your application carefully, make sure that you write a concise but detailed letter.

The Article or Story

The article or story that you include in your creative writing portfolio is the main element of your application for this particular job. It is advisable to submit an article that is no longer than 4500 words and adhere to the general tone of the publication that you are applying to join. The article should be in English and preferably published in a scientific journal. Keep your summary concise and to the point, with no more than six main paragraphs (and no more than two on any given topic). You should research the topic of your article thoroughly and present it in an objective manner (avoiding subjective terms like “I think…” or “It seems…)

The Critical Analysis

The critical analysis is a fairly short piece that you include in your creative writing portfolio to demonstrate your superior academic credentials. For this part, you need to select a short piece of literature and perform a critical analysis of it. You should analyze at least three different versions of the same text (i.e., the manuscript, the accepted article, and the published article). In the analysis, you should provide detailed and accurate information about the textual interrelationships between the different versions you have examined. You should take into consideration all the major changes that have been made between each version and analyze the significance of each alteration. In the end, your goal should be to provide a comprehensive overview of the text, analyzing both its strengths and weaknesses. The more analytical and scholarly you are, the better.

The Summary Of Your Approach

The summary of your approach is a concise and objective description of your method of analysis in the critical analysis section. For this part of your application, you need to describe your approach to the problem, how you investigated it, and what you discovered during the process. You should write this summary last, as it serves as a conclusion to the critical analysis. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with this part of the form before you start writing your summary, as you need to look back at what you have written in the previous sections to keep the flow of your argument coherent. You should provide sufficient information for the potential employer to understand your approach, analysis results, and recommendations. Be objective and analytical in your approach, and make sure that you do not offer any subjective opinions or interpretations in your summary. If you are using a formal method to analyze your data, then cite at least three sources (i.e., books, journal articles, and Web sites) to bolster your arguments.

Formatting Tips

As with all other parts of your application, the best format for the Creative Writing Portfolio is one that is concise and to the point. You should take care when putting together your portfolio to ensure that all the documents are of a high quality and easy to read. Bear in mind that the more pages you have, the more you will be charged by the publisher. Keep your letters short and to the point, and use solid English (avoid using “like” and “um”).

Once you have finished your application, you should wait for the publisher’s decision. If you have not received a response by the end of the following month, you should contact the publication’s editorial office for an update on the status of your application. Keep your own records of correspondence, and follow up with phone calls or emails until you receive a favorable decision from the publisher.