Students currently in 8-10th grades are eligible to apply.
In the Creative Writing Department, students study novels, short fiction, poems, drama, nonfiction and films. They discuss and analyze texts, then apply that knowledge to their own writing. Students write almost every day and are given exercises that encourage both imaginative and technically skilled work. During class and the more structured workshop sessions, they receive feedback from peers, instructors and visiting artists toward revision of their work. Grounded in the belief that the qualities of good writing remain consistent regardless of literary form, faculty teach all aspects of the curriculum. They also rotate instruction among all of the classes so that students have the benefit of receiving a variety of approaches, while instructors remain involved with all of the students in the department.
Because of the academic nature of the creative writing program, successful students usually have high reading scores on standardized tests (85 percent or above), high grade-point averages (3.0 or above), and demonstrate superior reading comprehension.
Include with your completed application:
(1) An original work of creative writing. This can be a poem or short story that you have spent time revising, and that you consider to be an example of your best work.
(2) A list of books you have read over the past three months. The list should include the title (in italics) and author (first and last name) of each book.
(3) A creative work (poem or short story) that describes what you see outside a window in your house. Please include sensory details (how things look, smell, taste, sound, or feel) and at least one simile or metaphor. Limit: 10 lines of poetry or 100 words of fiction.
(4) An essay discussing a poem, short story or novel you read that influenced you as a writer. Please tell us how this work/author changed the way you think about or approach writing, and use quotes and examples from the text to support your ideas. This should not be a summary of the plot, or an explanation about how you discovered the book. We're interested in how reading this work has influenced the way you approach writing. The essay should be between 300 and 500 words.
All writing submissions should be typed using a standard 12-point font and black ink. Please proofread your submissions to ensure that they are free from grammatical and spelling errors. Selected students will be asked to advance to the Audition Process.
At the audition:
Students invited to audition must bring an additional writing portfolio consisting of 10 typed pages of original creative writing (poetry or short fiction), and an updated book list of the books you've recently read.
At the audition, students should demonstrate a strong desire to read and write, and a willingness to do more than the work required. Students will be asked to read aloud and discuss a published poem or story excerpt. Students may be asked to write a short piece assigned by the instructor and/or read aloud and discuss a published poem or story excerpt. All students invited to an audition should be prepared for a one-on-one interview with a faculty member.
Consider these questions prior to your audition date: Why do you want to study writing? Are you willing to spend many hours outside of class on your reading and writing? What do you need to know about NOCCA and the writing program in order to determine if it's the right fit for you?