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Home » How to Enter Short Fiction and Creative Writing in CSU Application

How to Enter Short Fiction and Creative Writing in CSU Application

The California State University (CSU) application is a common application which many students use to apply for undergraduate studies at the college or university level. Most applications include a short story or creative writing sample, which has led to this article on how to enter short fiction and creative writing in CSU application.

Short Fiction

The CSU application includes a Short Fiction topic, which asks for a short story of no more than 1000 words. In your short story, you must incorporate:

  • A hook.
  • A unique voice.
  • Humor.
  • A unique setting or scenario.
  • Character development.
  • Plot.
  • A memorable ending.

If you are writing for publication and would like to see your work placed on a blog, you should take this into consideration and ensure that your story incorporates these elements.

Creative Writing

The CSU application includes a Creative Writing topic, which asks for a personal narrative – a story which you have written, or would like to write, about yourself. In your story, you must incorporate the above mentioned elements, as well as:

  • Characterization.
  • Dialogue.
  • Description.
  • Imagery.
  • Musical narration.
  • Sentiment.

The CSU application allows you to ‘tag’ yourself with the various elements you have mentioned above. This way, when lecturers and readers go through your work, they will have a clearer idea of what you have written about. The more ‘tags’ you put on your work, the more specific it will appear to be. By tagging your creative writing, you will also be able to find it again once you are done applying.

General Guidelines

When writing your short story or creative writing, you must follow the general guidelines which apply to all of your assignments for this application. These include:

  • Your work must be of acceptable quality.
  • Only the text itself (NOT INCLUDING ANY LETTERS, ETIQUETTE OR LIST OF PRONOUNS) may be used in your assignment.
  • You must follow the rules of grammar and usage as stated in the English Learners’ Grammar and Usage Guide.
  • Keep your spelling and grammar as correct as possible.
  • Your spelling must be consistent throughout your assignment. (If you are writing your story in English, it is imperative that you learn how to spell in English.)
  • Include a bibliography or works cited list at the end of your assignment. (This is especially important if you are submitting your work for publication.)
  • You must include a title page, with the author’s name, the title of your story, and the page numbers where it can be found. (If you are submitting your work for publication, then you must include an abstract.)
  • Your story must be no longer than 15 pages. (If your story is over 15 pages long, you will have to split it into two separate stories, or combine it with another work.)
  • Your story must be typed (NOT QUOTED) and double-spaced.
  • You may take some time to edit your work before submitting it.
  • You must use the given topic as inspiration for your work, but you do not have to follow it exactly.
  • You may include some of your own ideas in your work, but you must give them proper attribution.

As mentioned above, the more you put into your work, the more you will get out of it. Make sure you invest the time to complete your work, as this will make a significant difference in the end. In addition, while you are writing, take some time to research the topic as it relates to the 21st century; stay abreast of all the new technologies and cultural shifts.