HOW TO APPLY
The process of auditioning for the Creative Writing department begins by completing two application forms — one for Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, and one for the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). To begin this process, link to the school’s main website, http://www.sfsota.org, and look for the Admissions tab. Within that menu you can find both instructions and downloadable application forms. Students submitting application materials for Round One Auditions will have an opportunity (if necessary) to apply to Round Two Auditions.
In addition to the two application forms, Creative Writing applicants must prepare and submit a portfolio.
There are 2 application deadlines that correspond to 2 audition dates. Students submitting their application materials for the 1st Round Audition will have an opportunity (if necessary) to apply to the 2nd round Audition.
Materials are due:
- WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2017, by 3 PM
to be considered for an interview on SATURDAY, JANUARY 13, 2018 (1st round)
- WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2018, by 3 PM
to be considered for an interview on SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2018 (2nd round)
- A COMPLETE PORTFOLIO CONTAINS, IN THIS ORDER:
- Title page with your name, grade, school name, email address, and phone number
- Identify department you are applying to (Creative Writing – Literary Arts ).
- Personal Statement: an essay (same as essay in the application packet). In your own unique voice, tell us why you want to be in Creative Writing and give us insight into you as a writer: the poets, authors, and books that you love, why you write, when or how you write, if you’ve taken creative writing classes before (not required), if you’ve been to any of our CW shows or readings, etc.
- Academic essay (something you turned in for an English class)
- Five (5) poems
- Two (2) complete short stories
- One (1) personal narrative (a creative/non-academic essay that tells a specific, true story from your life)
And add One (1) of the following:
- 5-10 page one-act play
- 5-10 page script for TV or film
- additional short story or personal narrative
- Do NOT submit a portfolio unless you have thoroughly read through our website. For samples of the kind of work we do, we strongly recommend that you read our student literary journal, umläut. The Literary Reviews, Playwriting, and Poetry sections of our site provide some examples of student work.
- We also suggest that you attend our reading performances, which are listed on this website’s Event Calendar as well as the SOTA website.
- The Creative Writing Director does not provide feedback on individual portfolios.
- We strongly recommend taking free creative writing workshops offered at 826 Valencia (http://826valencia.org/) or elsewhere.
- After the portfolios are reviewed, students will receive notice that they have been invited to attend the audition if they are being considered for inclusion in the CW program.
- On Audition Day, students will be asked to complete two onsite creative writing assignments, and to participate with current CW students in an informal activity.
- Students will be asked to discuss themselves and their work in a personal interview with the Creative Writing Director and a writer-in-residence.
FREE portfolio help at 826 Valencia
- Building a Strong Writing Portfolio: http://826valencia.org/2015-11-21-building-a-strong-writing-portfolio/
- Creative Writing Portfolio Help: http://826valencia.org/2015-12-02-creative-writing-portfolio-help/
“Keep in mind, when auditioning for Creative Writing, that you are subjecting yourself to a hard-working community that believes in support, determination, imagination and constructive critique from everyone, peers and teachers alike…. When I did my portfolio, I wrote the pieces, and then did a series of drafts for each one. I had someone else read my pieces and help me make edits…. For the interview, remember to talk about how you got interested in writing….. Be enthusiastic about the program and be yourself!” — Sasha Schmitz ’09
“I was really nervous about my audition, but I realized that the most important thing was being myself! Don’t be nervous, everyone is very welcoming!” — Josie Weidner ’15
“Re-writing is next to godliness. Re-writing needs to become ingrained in all good writers, so it would be wise for prospective creative writers to polish their portfolio no matter how beautiful it already appears.” — Eli Wolfe ’09