How many Creative Writing courses may I take while at Harvard?
English concentrators may only count two creative writing courses towards their concentration requirements, but any additional courses do count toward a student's concentration GPA. With the approval of the individual instructor, students may repeat any creative writing course for credit up to 3 times per course number.
How many courses should I apply to?
Apply to as many courses as you like; your chances of being accepted increase with multiple applications. When applying to multiple courses, you must rank them by order of preference. YOUR ORDER OF PREFERENCES MUST BE THE SAME ON EACH APPLICATION COVER SHEET YOU SUBMIT.
What if I'm accepted into more than one course?
Each student can be admitted to only one course. The creative writing faculty meets to discuss all applications to prevent multiple acceptances. Remember to submit the same order of preferences with each application.
What if I apply to a course, but it turns out I can't take it?
Contact the instructor immediately to let him/her know that you will not be able to take the course. As a courtesy, do not apply for courses that you know you will not be able to attend. If your scheduling needs change after you submit an application, let us know as soon as possible.
What is the creative writing faculty looking for in applications? In writing samples? How can I make my application the best possible?
Please follow the instructions on the Web site that specifies the kind of writing sample you must submit (length, kind, possible topics, etc.). Follow the instructions for each class and submit your best work. If you don't get into the class you applied for, it may be because there were many more applications than there were available spots. It does not automatically imply that the instructor did not approve of your writing sample.
I'd like to take a certain course, but it doesn't meet at a convenient time. Can I ask the instructor to change the course to suit my needs?
No. You should look for other offerings.
What happens if I don't get accepted into any of the courses I apply for?
Unfortunately, there are usually more applications than spaces in a class. Reapply the following semester. Meanwhile, read what's being published in contemporary literary magazines, attend contemporary plays, read screenplays, read novels, apprentice yourself to the masters available to you in the libraries, and keep writing. You may fare better the next time.
Is there a waitlist for the course? What if someone else drops it during the first or second week? Might I still have a chance?
Each instructor will have his or her own waiting list. If your name is next on the waiting list, you will be contacted as soon as a spot becomes available.
Which genre is most competitive?
There is no consistently "most competitive" genre. Competition for courses simply depends on the number of courses offered in a given semester, the number of applications for those spots, and the number and quality of the applications received.
Do English concentrators have priority? Can anyone take a creative writing course? What about graduate students? Staff?
Although anyone can take a creative writing course, we do give preference to undergraduate students enrolled at Harvard---as opposed to graduate students, staff, or students cross-registering from other institutions. Although we do not give preference to English concentrators, we do consider each student's concentration and seniority, among other things.
I'm an English concentrator and I hope to write a creative writing thesis during my senior year. How should I approach applying for workshops in that context?
Explain your intentions in your application so that the instructor may take it into consideration.