Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nonfiction Application Essays

Kennan had a question about using published newspaper articles for his nonfiction application and whether that was acceptable.

I tend toward writing reportage myself, and certainly one of the pieces I submitted could have been a long magazine article. That said, I would be careful of simply fulfilling newspaper requirements, with "who, what, where, when, why, how" and disregarding the more creative parts of nonfiction, re: dealing with things more obscure, a lack of timeliness. Basically, I would say that if people do want to use straight journalism to apply for nonfiction, recognize that your audience is drastically different, and reread and rework your pieces with that new audience in mind. I'm not suggesting that faculty readers are looking for anything in particular when they read your work, more that you need to make clear to them that you are applying for nonfiction and not journalism.

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