• Charleston County School of the Arts

    Creative Writing Major and Audition for 6th - 12th Grades

    Program Expectations 

    Beginning with the fundamentals of storytelling and poetry writing in Middle School, by High School, Creative Writing students are proficient with every basic element of the craft and are able to identify their voices, preferred genres and styles in preparation for their Senior Thesis (a project in which they must create, revise and publish an original 100-page book, available for purchase at Amazon.com.)  Our program seeks students who are keen observers of their worlds.  Applicants need to possess and show a love of words, a vivid imagination, a compelling voice, a unique vision, and a proficiency in not just grammar, conventions or literary devices, but in an ability to significantly move a reader through the written word.  Finally, applicants should be genuinely voracious readers.  Our hope for our students is that they will find their voices, hone their craft and pursue writing at some of the country’s finest college and university writing programs upon graduation. 



    Audition Expectations 

    Students will compile a portfolio of their best work in the areas of short fiction (one short story) and poetry (two poems) and will turn it in at the time of the audition. Also, during a 50-minute timed writing, students will compose a story based on a prompt handed out at the audition. This piece will be evaluated for its creativity, the student’s ability to develop plot and character, voice, use of literary devices, and written conventions (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.). This part measures their raw, innate talent without the opportunity to prepare in advance or to revise. Finally, students will complete a simple interview with a Creative Writing teacher. 



    Audition Requirements 

    Grades 6 – 12:  Students must prepare and bring in a portfolio consisting of one short story and two poems which they will turn in at the beginning of their audition.  In addition, they will need to write on-site based on a story prompt handed out at the beginning of the audition.  They will have 50 minutes to complete their on-site writing piece.  In addition, they will be interviewed for roughly five minutes during the audition time by a Creative Writing teacher.   

       

    Charleston County School of the Arts Creative Writing Audition Structure

     

    Students will compile a portfolio of their best work in the areas of short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction (as applicable to their respective middle school and high school application), and will turn it in at the time of the audition.  Also, during a 50-minute timed writing, students will compose a story based on a prompt handed out at the audition.  This piece will be evaluated for its creativity, the student’s ability to develop plot and character, voice, use of literary devices, and written conventions (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.).  This part of the audition requires no preparation ahead of time.  Finally, students will complete a simple interview with a creative writing teacher. 

     

    Rubric for scoring (40 point scale) 

    Note:  applies to both the writing portfolio and the in-class writing prompt

     

    Creativity  (up to 8 points) 

    • Ability to tell a story, compose a poem or essay that is inventive and compelling without feeling contrived or silly.  Student has ability to capture aspects of people and life in original, fresh ways

     

    Development  (up to 8 points) 

    • Ability to develop character, conflict, and setting throughout a story in ways that complement story structure and create theme

     

    Voice (up to 8 points) 

    • Ability to create a distinct and appropriate voice in the narrator/speaker that infuses and enhances the story, poem, or essay as a whole

     

    Literary Devices (up to 8 points) 

    • Ability to incorporate devices such as metaphor/simile, symbolism, personification in ways that are appropriate to the piece, not gimmicky or forced

     

    Literary Conventions (up to 8 points) 

    • Ability to write standard written English correctly, without errors in spelling, punctuation, usage, or mechanics

     

    Points Explanation 

    8 = Superior 

    6 = Above Average

    4 = Average 

    2 = Poor 

     

    Writing Prompt Evaluation            

     

    Superior (8pts.)  Above Average (6pts.)  Average (4pts.)  Poor (2pts.) 

     

    Creativity 

    8 Student work exhibits a high level of creativity 

    6 Student work exhibits some creativity. 

    4 Student work exhibits little creativity. 

    2 Student work exhibits no creativity. 

     

    Development 

    8 Thorough development as pertains to plot, character setting and theme 

    6 Adequate development as pertains to plot, character, setting and theme  

    4 Weak development as pertains to plot, character setting and theme 

    2 Little to no development as pertains to plot, character setting and theme 

     

    Voice

    8 A clear sense of voice   

    6 An emerging sense of voice 

    4 Insufficient sense of voice 

    2 No sense of voice 



    Literary devices

    8 Effective use of literary devices 

    6 Several attempts to use literary devices 

    4 Few attempts to use literary devices 

    2 No attempts to use literary devices y. 

     

    Conventions

    8 Superior use of the conventions of Standard  Written English 

    6 Correct use of the conventions of Standard  Written  English 

    4 Some errors in the use of the conventions of Standard Written English  

    2 Frequent errors in the use of the conventions of Standard Written English 

     

    Prepared Portfolio       30%

    Onsite Writing Prompt 70%