Creative Writing Concentration

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APPLICATION PROCESS

There are many kinds of writers, and they are all welcome in most of the Creative Writing (CW) workshops. Here at Ohio State, the CW faculty specialize in mentoring literary writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, some of whom may later pursue a graduate degree in Creative Writing (an MFA). Students serious about reading and writing poetry, literary fiction and creative nonfiction are encouraged to apply for the concentration. There are also other opportunities in Creative Writing that may be of particular interest to those who want to write screenplays, YA novels and so on, including the minor in Creative Writing, which does not require an application process. 

For the 2022-2023 academic year, the Department of English is adjusting the application process. We are streamlining the way that students not in the Creative Writing concentration may be considered for any available seats in 4000-level workshops in Autumn 2023. During this process, students may also request to be considered for admission to the concentration in the English major. 

To be eligible to apply for 4000-level workshops, students should have completed (or be enrolled in currently) at least one 2000-level workshop. To be eligible for the concentration, students must also be enrolled in (or have already completed) a 3000-level workshop. 

Those interested should complete this form here with the required information and a writing sample. Applications are due by 11:59pm on Sunday, February 26. 

Current Creative Writing concentrators will be contacted separately regarding workshops; they should not submit this form. 

If you are not in the Creative Writing concentration and would like to be considered for a seat in a 4000-level workshop after February 26, please email the instructor of the workshop for permission after March 31. 

Please contact both Professor Marcus Jackson (jackson.2577@osu.edu), Director of Creative Writing, and Dr. Katie Stanutz (stanutz.3@osu.edu), Undergraduate Program Manager, with any questions about the application process. 

  

 

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HOW TO APPLY

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All applications are submitted via an online webform. You must submit the following information: 

  • Preferred Name
  • Ohio State email address 
  • 9-digit Student ID number (the shorter of the two numbers on your BuckID) 
  • Which 4000-level workshops you are interested in (you may select multiple workshops) 
    • If you select multiple workshops, the form will ask you how many you would ideally like to take (up to 2) and your ranked choices of workshops
  • If you would like to be considered for the Creative Writing concentration in the English major. 
  • One document (Word or pdf) – titled “[Your Last Name], [Your First Name] CW Sample” – that contains the following: 
    • A list of creative writing courses taken and the instructors for those courses. 
    • Writing sample(s) of your best creative writing in each genre of the workshops for which you would like to be considered. In other words, if you are interested in both fiction and poetry, you should submit samples of both fiction and poetry. 
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The most important part of your application is your writing sample. Here are the requirements: 

  • Length: maximum of 10 pages per genre 
    • If you submit multiple writing samples, each one must be no longer than 10 pages. 
    • Suggested minimum is 3-5 pages (for poetry, 3-5 poems)
  • Document Format: 12-point Times New Roman font with 1" margins. Fiction and creative non-fiction submissions are double-spaced. Poetry submissions are single-spaced (and/or may play with spacing). 
  • The writing sample should be preceded by a brief (1-2 sentence) description of the writing sample. For multiple samples, each one should be preceded by a brief description. 
  • ​​​​​​​Be sure that your name is on the document. 

You are strongly encouraged to submit work that has been workshopped and revised. You might ask your instructors from 2000- and 3000-level workshops which sample(s) of your work are best to submit. 

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APPLICATION FAQs

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Applications are reviewed by creative writing faculty members who will be teaching the 4000-level workshops. 

Faculty across the three genres are interested in detecting the same four general qualities in your writing sample: 

  • the ability to write clean clear sentences. the willingness to avoid cliché, creating instead vivid sensory imagery, crisp scenes and compelling characters (or speakers).
  • the ability to create fresh dialogue (or voice). 
  • evidence that the writer understands some fundamentals of the genre most typically achieved by reading contemporary literature in that genre. 

Once all of the applications have been assessed, students will be notified by email around the time registration opens for the following term. 

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4000-level Creative Writing workshops have a cap of 16 students, so acceptances for workshops will be limited based on space available. Historically, workshops in fiction writing have the most demand. 

For the concentration itself, there are no quotas, and the number of acceptances (and other decisions) vary each cycle. Each application is assessed on its own merits.