Creative Writing Auditions
for Grades 7-8
Saturday, April 14
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 Creative Writing audition consists of the following:
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 be given 15 minutes after the hour is up to write this 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 1and 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.
Auditions will be scored according to the following rubric. Your audition will be read by at least 3 readers who will not know your name. Evaluation of your audition is based on a 5 point scale with 5 points being the highest and on 1 point being the lowest. The highest possible score is 30 points. The following areas are evaluated:
- Character Development: The main characters are named and clearly and consistently portrayed through realistic actions, dialogue and personality traits. Most readers could describe the characters accurately.
- Plot/Setting: It is very easy for the reader to understand the problem the main characters face and why it is a problem. Storyline is logical and unified with setting and characters. Story makes sense, is focused, and moves forward towards a conclusion.
- Creativity: The story contains several effective creative details that contribute to the reader's enjoyment. The author has really used his imagination.
- Sensory Details: Writer uses fresh and innovative language and description words that linger or draw pictures in the reader's mind. The choice and placement of the words seems accurate, natural and not forced. The piece shows vs. tells.
- Organization: Ideas and scenes are organized and well thought out; transitions between scenes sound natural and are smooth. Story is logically and consistently organized into paragraphs.
- Conventions: Remarkable effort in display of punctuation, capitalization, usage, and spelling conventions- very few surface errors.
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.
- Dinner was waiting in the dimly lit room next to the kitchen.
- Your character’s name is Chance.
- From the back of the truck…
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 which can help you practice using a visual prompt.
- The Marvels by Brian Selznick –Best Picture Book of 2015
- The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
- Give your story an original title.
- Use strong vocabulary, use descriptive words.
- Create images using sensory details.
- Use dialogue that lets your characters talk or show your character’s thoughts.
- Write in paragraphs; stay focused on the prompt.
- Use standard composition skills: grammar, mechanics, and readability.