Creative Writing Auditions
for Grades 8-12
Creative Writing is a 6 year program designed for students interested in exploring writing as an art form and for publication. Students will examine a variety of writing genres which requires them to understand, analyze, imitate and produce writing which reflects these genres. Each year of study is foundational for the following year. At the end of the program, students will have a vast knowledge of writing technique and skill, proficiency in a preferred style, a portfolio of their work, exposure to successful published writers in all genres, opportunity for application and publication.
- To study a variety of genres, authors and styles through reading, discussion and analysis.
- To experiment with a variety of writing genres, including but not limited to the short story, poetry, creative nonfiction, and performance.
- To encourage writers to develop a love for words and figurative language.
- To use the writing process of multiple drafts, revision, editing and response in composing their written pieces.
- To practice critical skills by giving and receiving criticism of their own and peer writings.
- To discover their creative voice as they explore the art of written expression.
- To create a portfolio that provides examples and evidence of growth in each of the four forms.
- To learn about and participate in the yearly opportunity to publish their work.
Step-By-Step Audition Process
The following guidelines will prepare you for the audition for the Creative Writing Magnet:
1. You will be given 1 hour to write a story in response to a prompt.
2. Your story should be no longer than 1 and ½ - 2 pages.
3. All students will also be asked to write a short statement that describes their personal goals as a young artist and their reasons for wanting to attend Stivers School for the Arts to fulfill their goals. You will have an additional 15 minutes to write that statement.
- Because this is a BLIND audition, each student will be identified by a numbered sticker; please no names on any audition stories. This number will be matched to each student’s name on the attendance sign-in sheet after the story is scored by readers.
- Pencil and paper will be provided.
- Read all of the given prompts and choose ONE that inspires you to write your story.
- Your story should be no longer than 1 and ½ - 2 pages.
- Please, only one submission per student.
- Audition must be completed within the allotted time period 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Please be on time for your session as other student information will be gathered and to also have the full amount of writing time.
- Due to the large number of auditions none will be returned.
How to Prepare for the Audition
The following prompts are designed to familiarize you with an example of the type of prompts used the day of your audition. They are meant for practice only. They will not appear as story choices during your actual audition. Your practice stories should not be brought with you to the audition.
Please use the provided prompts to guide your writing. Feel free to practice all of them. You may want to set a timer on your phone or stove for the allotted amount of time. Please write a fictional story and not poetry.
A prompt is a story starter either written or visual to guide a writer into storytelling.
For practice, you may want to write a story for each of these prompts. You may want to use a simple timer on your phone or stove set for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The following prompts will not appear as story choices during your audition.
- Your character remembers the day, 2 years ago, when he said he was going out for a bike ride.
- Three weeks before the Olympic tryouts, her swimming coach said casually, “Watch your weight. Appearance makes a difference.”
- Your character, a reporter for a large city newspaper, receives an assignment to cover …
To practice using a visual prompt, use a photograph found in a book, magazine, or online. Find one that is inspiring and lends itself to good storytelling. It should not be a family photograph as the story must be fictional. We suggest two books found at your local library that can help you practice using a visual prompt.
- The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
- The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Auditions will be scored according to the following rubric. Your audition will be read by at least 3 adjunct readers who will not know your name. Evaluation of your audition is based on a five point scale with 5 points being the highest and 1 point being the lowest. The highest possible score is 30 points. The following rubric evaluates the following areas:
- The narrator is believable and owns the story by using consistent 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person point of view.
- Dialogue is natural and appropriate to the story.
- Original premise; does not read like a recycled book, movie, or TV show. Plot moves forward through character action/reaction. Uses effective detail in description to add to reader’s attention and understanding.
- Vivid and engaging word choice used to bring readers into the story’s world.
Form and Organization
- Prompt response is focused, paragraphed, and contains necessary transitions. Dialogue is employed and correctly formatted.
- Standard composition skills are applied in grammar, mechanics, readability allowing the reader to move forward with little effort. Sentence structure is varied and creates a natural flow. Verb tenses are used appropriately.
Your story should also include:
- Developed original characters
- Use of natural dialogue to show your characters’ thoughts and words.
- Developed conflict, friction or central problem
- An original plot or story line
- Description of setting, scene, environment or atmosphere
- Consistent 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person point of view. The narrator (storyteller) is believable.
- Reaches a climax or peak that leads to your conclusion.
- Uses standard rules of composition/language skills: grammar, mechanics, sentence structure and readability.