CFPA Creative Writing

The goal of the Charles J. Colgan Sr., High School Creative Writing Program is to support burgeoning writers in their craft and facilitate access to a variety of platforms to showcase their work. Coursework will focus on craft, process, and the major traditions within fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, and creative nonfiction. These areas of focus will also serve to develop skills in critical and creative thinking, and in written and oral communication. Instructors will engage students in a variety of writing experiences: classes, workshops, conferences, readings, and collaborations with other arts and disciplines.

 

Ms. Dyche, Creative Writing
Ms. Dyche
dychej@pwcs.edu

Creative Writing Audition Requirements

The Creative Writing audition process will include a portfolio review, a written reflection, and an impromptu writing exercise.

Portfolio Review

The portfolio is due at the audition and should consist of pieces written or revised within the last year. Students should include written artifacts that are representative of their writing interests and abilities, and that showcase their best work. Quality will be valued over quantity; however, applicants should be sure to submit enough writing so that their writer's voice is clear. The portfolio should consist of 4 to 8 pages of original work. Be advised, these pieces will not be returned.

The portfolio should include one example of at least three forms of writing, limited to the following genres:

  • Short Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Script  (ex. a scene written for live performance, screen, or broadcast)
  • Creative Nonfiction (personal essay, narrative, review, editorial, travel, blog. 
    • Note:     Academic essays, news writing, speeches do not count as Creative Nonfiction.

In addition to the examples, portfolios must include:

  • One written reflection on a piece of the applicant’s choice. This reflection should include:
    • Choices made
    • The writing process explaining how the piece developed or evolved
    • What was learned or gained from the particular writing experience

Guidelines for Portfolio Submission

  • 12 point, Times New Roman 
  • Black ink
  • One-inch margins
  • Numbered in the upper right corner of each page (do not number the cover sheet)
  • Cover page that lists: 
    • Name  (Note: The applicant’s name should not appear on the original work)
    • Email
    • Telephone Number
    • Current Grade

Portfolios will be uploaded to Dropbox

Directions for impromptu writing exercise: Students will be emailed the writing prompt to the address listed on their application at noon on January 15th. The prompt must be completed and added at the end of the portfolio submitted to Dropbox on January 16. Because the purpose of the prompt is to evaluate a student's ability to write creatively within a limited time span, no student will be given advanced knowledge of the prompt. This is to maintain fairness. Additionally, the student can not refer to outside sources or be given outside help on the writing prompt.

FAQ’s: Please email Ms. Dyche at dychej@pwcs.edu if you have questions about the audition requirements. 


Portfolio Evaluation Criteria:

Forms 
Portfolio provides examples of each of the four forms (script, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry).

1


Example of one form of writing is provided

2


Examples of two forms of writing are provided

3


Examples of three forms of writing are provided

4


Examples of four forms of writing are provided


Style and Voice 
Writing shows presence of style (use of diction, imagery, details, language and syntax), and tone.

1


Writing demonstrates little sense of style and voice; no clear sense of tone

2


Writing demonstrates minimal personal style; is superficial; shows inconsistent use of stylistic choices (diction, imagery, details, language, and syntax); tone is present

3


Writing demonstrates distinct style and voice; clear sense of audience; but may be mechanical; has a sense of tone

4


Writing skillfully uses a variety of styles and voices; sophisticated sense of audience; demonstrates purposeful use of diction, imagery, details, language and syntax; clear tone


Originality/Inventiveness in Content 
Writing shows creative exploration or interpretation of a concept, idea, or class assignment.

1


Writing shows no inventiveness or risk-taking; all subject matter is cliché and bland; lacks original ideas; little insight.

2


Work shows minimal inventiveness or risk-taking in subject matter; often subject matter is cliché and bland; displays insight.

3


Most works demonstrate inventiveness and risk –taking but may be presented in a less novel or complex way. If cliché subject matter is used, it is presented in a novel/complex way; evidence of original thinking; displays insight.

4


Writing demonstrates inventiveness and risk-taking that goes beyond cliché subject matter (e.g. teenage sadness/depression; relationship drama; school cliques); writing presents subject matter in a novel and complex way; generates original/keen insights.


Evidence of Growth 
Portfolio provides evidence of growth as a writer.

1


Writing demonstrates weak composition skills; there are multiple severe grammar, mechanical, and organizational errors that greatly impair reading.

2


Writing demonstrates some compositional skills; There are some errors in grammar, mechanical, and organizational errors and not all pieces read fluently.

3


Writing demonstrates adequate composition skills; errors in grammar do not impair readability, but pieces may not read fluently and effortlessly.

4


Writing demonstrates very few grammar, mechanical, and organizational errors; pieces read fluently and effortlessly.


Composition Skills 
Writing shows understanding and application of standard English composition requirements (grammar, mechanics, and readability. *Note, a score of 1 in this section will automatically fail a portfolio submission.

1


Writing demonstrates little ability to self-reflect; think critically about their own writing; some description of their writing process but no clear processing of the experience.

2


Writing reflection demonstrates ability to self-reflect; attempts to critically evaluate writing but falls short in explaining what was learned in the process, or how the experience will affect future writing.

3


Written reflection shows evidence of self-reflection; ability to critically evaluate writing and revise; demonstrates potential for personal growth by explaining what the experience taught them.

4


Written reflection shows strong ability to think critically, revise, and self-correct writing; demonstrates evidence of growth by being able to explain how the experience will guide future writing.


Adherence to Form's Format/Structure 
Writing follows standard expectations in the forms of poetry, prose, or scriptwriting, such as correct formatting, characteristics, and structure.

1


Writer demonstrates little knowledge of form’s format/structure.

2


Writer demonstrates knowledge of format/structure but does not/cannot apply it consistently.

3


Writer follows most form’s format/structure

4


Writer follows all form’s format/structure exactly


In Person Evaluation Criteria

Writing Exercise – This observation is based on an impromptu writing exercise. Students will be timed and evaluated on: composition skills, originality, and writing style. 


Composition Skills 
Writing shows understanding and application of standard English composition requirements (grammar, mechanics, and readability. *Note, a score of 1 in this section will automatically fail an on-demand writing exercise.

1


Writing demonstrates weak composition skills; there are multiple severe grammar, mechanical, and organizational errors that greatly impair reading.

2


Writing demonstrates some compositional skills; There are some errors in grammar, mechanical, and organizational errors and not all pieces read fluently.

3


Writing demonstrates adequate composition skills; errors in grammar do not impair readability, but pieces may not read fluently and effortlessly.

4


Writing demonstrates very few grammar, mechanical, and organizational errors; pieces read fluently and effortlessly.


Originality/Inventiveness in Content 
Writing shows understanding and application of standard English composition requirements (grammar, mechanics, and readability. *Note, a score of 1 in this section will automatically fail an on-demand writing exercise.

1


Writing shows no inventiveness or risk-taking; all subject matter is cliché and bland; lacks original ideas; little insight.

2


Work shows minimal inventiveness or risk-taking in subject matter; often subject matter is cliché and bland; displays insight.

3


Most works demonstrate inventiveness and risk –taking but may be presented in a less novel or complex way. If cliché subject matter is used, it is presented in a novel/complex way; evidence of original thinking; displays insight.

4


Writing demonstrates inventiveness and risk-taking that goes beyond cliché subject matter (e.g. teenage sadness/depression; relationship drama; school cliques); writing presents subject matter in a novel and complex way; generates original/keen insights.


Style and Voice 
Writing shows presence of style (use of diction, imagery, details, language and syntax), and tone.

1


Writing demonstrates little sense of style and voice; no clear sense of tone

2


Writing demonstrates minimal personal style; is superficial; shows inconsistent use of stylistic choices (diction, imagery, details, language, and syntax); tone is present

3


Writing demonstrates distinct style and voice; clear sense of audience; but may be mechanical; has a sense of tone

4


Writing skillfully uses a variety of styles and voices; sophisticated sense of audience; demonstrates purposeful use of diction, imagery, details, language and syntax; clear tone


 

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