With the rise of creative writing as a degree, more and more students have inquired about applying to an MFA in creative writing. Applying for an MFA in creative writing is not without its challenges. Luckily, the ever-growing number of MFA in creative writing schools across the country have come up with the perfect guide to help you ace your application. Below, you’ll discover just what you need to include in your application to ensure you get the attention of the program’s admissions team.
Just about everyone reading this has heard of Creative Writing, and it is safe to assume that some of them may have taken a class or two in college. Yet, for those of you applying for an MFA in Creative Writing, your familiarity with the subject may not be enough to secure you a place in the prestigious program. To get noticed, you’ll want to stand out from the crowd by demonstrating your unique voice, vision, and approach to craft. For that matter, it is advisable to write a personal statement as part of your MFA application. A good personal statement can help you gain acceptance into any creative writing program, but the task becomes even more critical for those of you applying to a top-notch institution like the University of South Carolina, where you will be competing with some of the best students and teachers in the country for a place in the graduate program.
A personal statement is not a story. It is a reflection on the writer, their craft, and how they plan to utilize the program to further their creative writing career. Moreover, your admission essay should not be longer than 3-4 pages and should be a tight novella or short-story to keep things interesting for the reader. Remember, the admissions team will be reading your personal statement in its entirety, so take the time to ensure that everything is perfect!
In addition to showing off your uniqueness as a writer, you must also provide the admissions team with a glimpse at your career so far. This includes demonstrating that you have the ability to write effectively and professionally as well as the willingness and ability to continue learning and developing your craft. For that matter, you should submit a professional resume that includes any relevant experience in the field.
As a creative writing graduate, you will be able to show off a career that spans both fiction and nonfiction, depending on your preferred mode of creative writing instruction. Moreover, you should try to include various experiences that will make the admissions committee interested in your specific work. For example, if you are applying for a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at a university that focuses on genre fiction, you may want to include some samples of your short stories or novellas in addition to your resumes.
With so much talk of storytelling in the previous two points, you may be wondering how exactly the admissions team will be able to tell what kind of writer you are if you don’t include any of your works in your application? For that matter, you should include a portfolio of your work in some form, whether it be a book, play, or short story collection. Moreover, it is advisable to include a cover letter that supports your application along with the portfolio. For some people, a portfolio may be more accessible than a resume, so you should consider including one in addition to the other.
Along with your application, you should send in the following items to the University of South Carolina School of Creative Writing: a cover letter that supports your application, a resume, a portfolio (if you are applying without a portfolio, include a short story or play in addition to your resume), and two letters of recommendation. Once you have received the admissions decision, you will have ninety days to inform the university that you accepted their offer. If you don’t, you may lose your place in the program.