Creative Writing

Cwr 1000: poetic techniques.

Introduces the essentials of poetry writing, including poetic form and forms (traditional and unconventional), line structures and rhythms, figures of speech, and other elements of rhetoric, voice, and subject matter. Regular writing exercises are the heart of the course, emphasizing problems to solve and techniques to master. Reading and study of important poetic models accompanies the poetry writing. Students produce a portfolio of original poems by the end of the semester.

CWR 1010: Introduction to Creative Writing

This introductory course in creative writing allows students to explore various genres. Poetry, the short story, and memoir are among the forms discussed. Students should be prepared to write, revise, and share portions of their work with other members of the class, and to read a selection of works by contemporary authors.

CWR 1100: Narrative Techniques

An introduction to the fundamental aspects of fiction writing, including dialogue, plot, point of view, character development, detail, and voice. Starting from a series of writing exercises and analyses of published stories, students explore the techniques involved in creating effective fiction, using these as a springboard to complete a short story.

CWR 2300: Creative Nonfiction

In this introduction to creative nonfiction, students explore a variety of forms within the genre, including personal narrative, memoir, reportage, and the lyric essay. Students also write and workshop their own original essays.

PREREQ: CWR1000 Or CWR1100 Or WRI1110

CWR 2400: Poetry Writing I

Students begin to study and practice poetic strategies, producing a poem per week in response to assigned exercises. Students also develop skills in critiquing by commenting on each others’ work and by reading and discussing the work of established poets. Permission of Instructor required.

PREREQ: CWR1000 Or CWR1050

CWR 2500: Fiction Writing I

While continuing to explore narrative strategies, students write and submit several short stories during the semester. Students also learn the fundamentals of critiquing as they discuss their work and that of published writers. Permission of Instructor required.

PREREQ: CWR1050 Or (CWR1000 And CWR1100 )

CWR 3105: Writing and Reading the Region

Using the French location and selected readings related to the region, students explore the contexts and their responses through writing. Students meet at various locations, from castles and ruins to a local café, and receive writing assignments that draw on place and setting. Each week, students select one of their on-the-spot works to revise and develop into a short piece of fiction for submission. Emphasis is on capturing the nuances of one’s surroundings and experiences of these surroundings, and on how to use setting as a main “character“ in writing. Summer (offered in France)

CWR 3110: Writing Home

Often, to leave home is to truly see it. This course explores how writers craft “home” in their fiction. Whether crossing literal or figurative borders, the impulse for home is at the heart of character desire. Students will read the work of diverse writers as they write home in their own fiction.

PREREQ: CWR1100 And CWR1000 And CWR2500 And CWR3500

CWR 3125: Alternate Worlds

This writing workshop draws on a variety of texts, media, and film as students explore fictional portrayals of other worlds. In their writing assignments, students focus on elements that contribute to effective narratives—setting, character, situation, etcetera—in order to create alternate realities.


CWR 3200: The Art of the Novella

What makes the novella work? What power does the form offer that the short story and longer novel do not? Is there a subject matter best suited to such brevity? Students examine these questions through close reading of works by new and established writers (e.g., James, Conrad, Moore), and begin to structure and write their own novella.

CWR 3210: Constructing Truths: The Personal Essay

Students are guided through the classical questions of form and style, the building materials of the personal essay, through reading and writing assignments. Students examine the elements that convince the reader of the truth of their tales and explore how to confront their own experiences creatively. Readings are various, but with a focus on the 20th-century essay in English.

CWR 3215: Editing and Production Workshop: Editing

Focusing on the art of editing, students learn best editing practices through a practical and historical context of the literary journal landscape in the U.S. Students apply their skills to editing content to be published in the creative writing program’s literary magazine, Italics Mine.

PREREQ: CWR1000 Or CWR1010 Or CWR1100

CWR 3220: Editing and Production Workshop: Production

Through hands-on collaboration, students apply their editing skills to the production of the creative writing program¹s literary journal, Italics Mine. From shaping manuscripts to layout and design, marketing, and public relations, students work as editors on the publication of the journal.


CWR 3400: Poetry Writing II

This course assumes that students have a good command of basic poetic craft. Writing assignments put increased emphasis on students’ own work, though there are still exercises to guide the workshop, as well as study and discussion of poetry by established writers.


CWR 3450: Poets at Work: First Books

Students interact with contemporary poets who have recently published their first poetry book or chapbook. Most classes are structured as a brief reading by and discussion with visiting authors. Topics include each author’s influences, how one assembles a collection, how manuscripts evolve over time, and the editorial/publishing process. Students read each poet’s collection and compose critical and creative responses.


CWR 3500: Fiction Writing II

This course assumes a working knowledge of the craft. Students write and discuss short stories or chapters from a novel in progress, and continue to refine their critiquing skills through discussion of their own work as well as published stories. Revision of submitted work is an important component of this course.

CWR 4000: Special Topics in Creative Writing

A series of mini-workshops, guest speakers, and activities focused on current trends in the field and on broader topics germane to students in their senior year.

PREREQ: CWR3400 Or CWR3500 Or CWR3200 Or CWR3200

CWR 4510: Advanced Seminar in Fiction Writing

Taught by a well-published writer-in-residence. Students work intensively on revising and editing their own work and each other’s fiction, as well as on critiquing published stories and novels. The course also familiarizes students with the professional writer’s market and the submission process, in order to encourage each student to prepare at least one story for possible publication.

PREREQ: CWR3200 Or CWR3500

CWR 4511: Advanced Seminar in Poetry Writing

Advanced students with practiced skills in poetry writing and criticism work to produce poems of publishable stature. Students should be able to assume full responsibility for their creative process in this course.


CWR 4515: Building Stories

This course explores stories that employ alternative forms of narrative design (i.e. non-linear, episodic, parallel, multiple point-of-view) to establish form—the pattern of a story’s assembly, its arrangement and structure. Writers often think of plot as defining structure in a story. However, craft elements like point of view, tone, time, place etc. when employed structurally, can achieve meaning and design.

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suny purchase creative writing portfolio

SUNY Purchase Portfolio Instructions

Arts Majors Offered:

Art History, Arts Management, Graphic Design, Painting & Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Visual Arts

Portfolio Submission Deadlines

Spring: January 1

Fall Priority Admission: December 15 – Receive a decision in January

Fall Final Deadline: February 15


In-person portfolio review events provide students with an opportunity to present their work to a faculty member for discussion and feedback prior to submitting the final application portfolio online at . Students are not required to attend an in-person portfolio review, but it is strongly recommended.

Purchase College VISual Media Campus VISit Saturday, November 7th, 2015 10:00am-3:00pm

Are you interested in all things visual?  Come and find out what studying and working in visual media is all about!

Online registration for this event will be available in September.

Express Decision Portfolio Review Day Purchase College Friday, February 5, 2016 . 10:00am – 4:00pm

Online registration for this event will be available in January.

Portfolio Requirements

All Applicants Must Submit The Portfolio Online at .  There is a $10 fee per portfolio submission payable at Please submit only one portfolio to the School of Art+Design major program of your choice. Available undergraduate major programs are:

All students complete a general visual arts foundation year in the freshman year of all programs. Accepted students will begin their chosen specific major programs only after they have completed the first academic year at the School.

*NOTE: If you experience difficulty uploading your portfolio, you must contact Slideroom technical support at  [email protected]  for assistance. Please allow one day for a response. You can also consult the Slideroom Helpdesk and FAQ at .

Portfolio Content Requirements:


Additional Portfolio Requirements for Transfer Applicants to Graphic Design

Transfer applicants to the BFA Graphic Design program must include:

Your portfolio must consist of a minimum of twelve (12) and no more than twenty (20) examples of your work, inclusive of the two assignments plus your Reflective Statement or Video.

Both the self-portrait and the observational drawings are required of all applicants, regardless of major choice . The balance of the portfolio will be evaluated as a demonstration of both the breadth and depth of your visual interests.

Additional Portfolio Information:

Label your images:  Please list title, media, size dimensions (where applicable) and provide a description for each piece.

Detail shots:  If it is appropriate, you may provide detail shots of particular works. Be sure to indicate if an example is a detail shot.

Multiple views:  If a single image does not adequately display your work (e.g. a large sculpture) you may include more than one image.

Photography:  Applicants wishing to apply to the photography program should convey their competence in photography by submitting photographs of their already printed images (i.e., a picture of your picture). This is true for both film and digital photography.

Admissions Decisions

Admissions decisions are released on a rolling basis beginning in January for students who have met the December 1 Priority Application Deadline. Students meeting the Regular Application Deadline of February 1 will receive decisions on a rolling basis from February through early April. If you are offered admission, you will be asked to submit an enrollment deposit by May 1.

For more information click  here .

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SUNY Purchase: College Tour

The art of science. the science of performance. the performance of literature. the literature of art..

SUNY Purchase

These are some ways that SUNY Purchase integrates the arts. The State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase has 4,000 undergraduates, widely known as an arts school, it has the motto of Think Wide Open . We saw that motto come to life as we toured the campus. 

Purchase offers

Forty percent of undergraduates graduate with a degree from the School of Arts. Purchase offers BFA conservatory programs in dance, music, theatre arts, the School of Art and Design , and film.  They are well known for their BFA programs and have amazing facilities and faculty to support the arts. 

All students participate in a honors-level senior project before they graduate, for example in the film school a student may move from writing a thesis to writing or producing an original screenplay or film.

This polished and finished product helps students see that they are able to do research or start a business. Park to Fly, the airport shuttle service, was started by a Purchase student. 92% of Purchase graduates are working full time or in graduate school. The faculty to student average at Purchase College is 13.5:1.

Social Life

Making art, filming , writing , and getting loud . Purchase students love their traditions- and who wouldn’t? Each semester, the night before finals begin, college faculty and staff stay late on campus to serve breakfast to hungry, cramming, stressed-out students during Pancake Madness.

No small drag competition, Fall Ball has students spending months perfecting their acts and organizers bringing in some of the greatest guest drag performers in the country. Student-run (school supported) Culture Shock is off the charts when it comes to college musical festivals. And, of course, at Zombie Prom , students dress up as zombies to enjoy the DJ and live music at this huge event. 

86% of freshmen and 70% of all students live on campus, and community engagement is big. Students we met told us about working to help victims of the natural disasters in Puerto Rico by staying in hostels, stocking bags at food pantries, and painting homes in the affected areas.

From membership in any of the 30+ clubs and organizations, to performances at the PAC, to athletics in the NCAA Division III Skyline Conference, there is always something to do for students at SUNY Purchase.

Student Body

Diverse, Creative, Artsy, Edgy, Inclusive, Low-key, Non-judgmental.

Eighty-two percent of students are New York residents, and the remainder come from 40 states and 30 foreign countries. Most out-of-state students are in conservatory programs. Purchase College places an emphasis on access to higher education, and diversity is welcomed. 

The LGBQ+ friendly campus is 34% first-generation college students and 25% Hispanic or LatinX. 

The Cornerstone Program pairs Purchase students with autistic peers to help with social and academic support. A separate application process is required for admittance into this program.

While visiting, we met Angela, who described the internship she had her freshman year. She learned to program and coordinate events and now she books shows for students on campus, seeks out artists, and manages events. She is also a member of the Purchase Student Government.

Another student, Quinn, who studies digital editing, interned for the Buffalo Bills and learned to edit game day footage and get it out in real-time.   

Surrounding Area

Just a 35-minute train ride from Manhattan, SUNY Purchase, located in the scenic Hudson Valley, is an art-filled expanse in the middle of 500 protected acres of forest, fields, and wildlife. 

Admissions and Financial Aid

Students may apply to SUNY Purchase through the Common or SUNY Application. The average high school GPA for the incoming class is 88 .3, and 70% had a combined SAT score of 1000 or higher. The most recent average was 1160. Purchase college has a 43% acceptance rate. 

Interview and portfolio reviews for programs including Acting, Film, and Music, are a part of their specific application processes and are by invitation only.

Program-Specific Requirements

Applicants can select a first choice and second choice major. This creates two separate applications and students will get a decision for both. All artistic submissions should be framed through the lens of Think Wide Open.

SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine has an agreement with Purchase College that allows admitted Purchase students seeking any degree (BA, BS, BM, or BFA) to be guaranteed acceptance into Upstate’s Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program if they satisfy the following eligibility requirements:


While at Purchase

The MCAT requirement for admission into Upstate is waived for individuals that are accepted into the program. 

For all SUNY programs, financial aid is offered on a case by case basis through federal, state, institutional, and private funds. 

Purchase College is a hands-on, community-focused institution made up of artistic and open-minded individuals. This ideal-sized campus has a beautiful setting and a welcoming and collaborative atmosphere.

SUNY Purchase

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College Transitions

How to Make a Portfolio for College

Traditionally, portfolios as part of the college admissions process were solely the domain of certain types of academic programs, namely, architecture, the performing arts, fine arts, film, and other visual or auditory mediums. Yet, those aren’t the only students who have the opportunity to assemble a portfolio for college these days.

In an effort to create a more holistic admissions process, many colleges and universities are opening the door to the submission of ancillary materials such as papers, projects, artwork, or videos showcasing extracurricular talents. As of 2022-23, the Coalition Application , in use at 165 top schools, encourages applicants to include these types of materials in a virtual “locker.” Many other schools are encouraging students to submit multimedia supplements through applications like ZeeMee , a platform that allows users to share their unique stories and talents with admissions officers through short videos.

In this blog, we will answer the following questions:

What is ZeeMee?


Schools of architecture vary greatly in terms of their requirements. They run the gamut from an extensive showcase of architectural sketches to not requesting a single work sample.

Syracuse University requires 12-24 examples of your best work. Cornell asks for 15-20. The New School advises that students with no architectural background “should demonstrate elemental understanding of three-dimensional form and space, composition, and basic understanding of light/shadow, depth and color through sketches, drawings, photography, crafts, sculptures, etc.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, Northeastern University does not require a portfolio submission of any kind, as they acknowledge that most high schools lack quality programming in this area. Instead, they seek only the most academically qualified applicants.  


Typically, those seeking entrance to a performing arts program will be required to submit a portfolio complete with a multitude of video clips meeting specified criteria. Those who make the grade will then be invited to a live audition.

Requirements in the performing arts are ordinarily quite particular and involve using the online application system,  Slideroom . Amherst, for example, requires highly specified supplements for their Music program. This includes “a recording of yourself in solo performance (if classical instrumental, voice, or jazz) or group performance (if jazz, rock, pop or other) of 2-4 tracks, not longer than 10 minutes total, exhibiting contrasting examples of expression and technique for classical submissions or varied stylistic approaches (swing, Latin, ballad, blues, etc.) for jazz submissions.” Amherst’s requirements for Dance and Theater are a bit less rigid; they essentially just want to see a video of you in action.

Connecticut College’s Music program is far more open-ended in their requirements. They suggest that artistically inclined applicants send along an optional arts supplement comprised of two contrasting pieces of music that best demonstrate your musical ability.

Stanford sets different requirements for those applying to different programs within the fine or performing arts. Photography applicants must submit ten photographs. Those pursuing Painting, Drawing or Printmaking concentrations must submit ten images of their work as well. Students in Video, Digital Media, or Electronic Art can submit no more than three videos –maximum ten minutes. NYU requires Studio Art applicants to submit  15-20 work samples. Additionally, NYU requires a one-page statement explaining your goals as an artist, your influences, and your background and training.

Those seeking admission to a prestigious set or production design program will need to compile very specific (and not to mention spectacularly executed) items for their portfolios. At NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, applicants “must include at least one three dimensional scale model with figures for one scene of a script (or photos of models), a scale ground plan for same model, and five examples of architectural sketches (furniture, architectural details, interior details, etc).”

Requirements for Costume Design or Lighting Design are equally detailed.

Entry into Yale’s program will require either an in-person portfolio or the physical mailing of an intimidating list of cataloged items in order to be considered. Boston University’s program offers a two-step online review. First, applicants submit up to 20 digital images through Slideroom. Next, engage in a Virtual Portfolio Review with the committee.

To apply to SUNY Purchase’s film program, one must submit ten samples of artwork (including videos) along with a statement about your role in each production. At George Mason, the process includes a video sample submission but also a sample treatment for a film or television show as well as a 500-word essay explaining your interest in film as an area of study. USC’s renowned film program requires a mix of writing samples, a personal statement, and photo/video clips of your previous work.

Highly-Specified Programs

Some schools with highly specified concentration areas also require portfolio submissions. For example, Rochester Institute of Technology applicants to the Medical Illustration, Metals and Jewelry, and Furniture Design programs must all provide additional materials, with very specific guidelines. Applicants to the Medical Illustration program must “Include at least six drawings of natural forms such as seashells, plants, human figures, or animals, rendered in a single medium.”

ZeeMee offers students the chance to make videos that are a maximum of 4 minutes (formerly 26 seconds). Students can sign up for a free ZeeMee account . This allows you to create videos, and then submit their link as part of their application submission. Students are encouraged to use this opportunity to simply introduce themselves or to answer one of the suggested prompts.

Optional Writing Samples

Many highly-selective colleges allow students to submit writing samples as optional components of their application. Harvard and Yale will take a look at any scholarly articles, research papers, or creative writing samples. The University of Chicago encourages the submission of a “short” creative writing sample or scientific research abstract. We encourage you to take schools up on their offer of including a writing sample. However, you should be judicious in your selection, submitting only one or two examples of your absolute best work.

Key Takeaways

For a list of the Best Colleges for Architecture, Art, Dance, Film, Theater, and more, visit the College Transitions Dataverse . 

suny purchase creative writing portfolio

Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent educational consultant. He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).

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Downloadable Resources for your College Transition



  1. Suny Purchase Creative Writing Portfolio! SUNY at Purchase College

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  2. Suny Purchase Creative Writing Program. Creative Writing

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  3. Suny Purchase Creative Writing Portfolio! SUNY at Purchase College

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  4. English: Creative Writing

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  6. Image: A Creative Writing Portfolio by Anisa Layton

    suny purchase creative writing portfolio


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  1. Creative Writing

    All applicants must first apply (using Common App or the SUNY App). Submit the Creative Writing portfolio online within your Admissions portal. There is a

  2. How to Apply • Creative Writing • Purchase College

    Portfolio of writing ( 8-10 poems or 2-3 short stories. No novel chapters); Two letters of recommendations from an instructor familiar with your writing. A one

  3. Audition and Portfolio Guidelines

    Special Circumstances · Dual Majors · Deadlines · Audition and Portfolio Guidelines · Acting · Art+Design · Creative Writing · Dance · Film · Music · Theatre

  4. My Experience Auditioning for Creative Writing

    Something that sets us apart from the other BA's at Purchase is that in order to get into the program, you have to submit a writing portfolio.

  5. Creative Writing

    Creative writing is an arts program for people who create with words. It is guided by a faculty who practice the art. On a campus that values art.

  6. Art+Design

    All applicants must first apply (using Common App or the SUNY App) and then will be prompted via email to submit the required portfolio of artwork in their

  7. Film

    Up to ten samples of any substantial artwork (films, videos, screenplays or other creative writing, photography

  8. Courses

    CWR 1000: Poetic Techniques · CWR 1010: Introduction to Creative Writing · CWR 1100: Narrative Techniques · CWR 2300: Creative Nonfiction · CWR 2400: Poetry Writing

  9. SUNY Purchase Portfolio Instructions

    Arts Majors Offered: Art History, Arts Management, Graphic Design, Painting & Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Visual Arts Portfolio

  10. SUNY Purchase: College Tour

    Creative Writing students must submit a writing portfolio (fiction or

  11. How to Make a Portfolio for College

    Traditionally, portfolios as part of the college admissions process were ... To apply to SUNY Purchase's film program, one must submit ten