Portfolio Workshop (Poetry & CNF / Hybrid)
Applying to graduate programs, residencies, or contests? We’ll help you put your best foot forward!
Putting together a writing portfolio and statement of purpose can be daunting. But whether you’re in the generative, editing, or polishing and ordering stages, we’ve got you covered. In this two-stage course you’ll have the opportunity to develop a writing portfolio and application packet and then refine it based on an initial round of feedback. You may still end up continuing to revise or edit or add as you approach your applications, but you’ll have the tools and teaching to understand the fundamentals behind portfolio- and collection-oriented work, and feel empowered to put your multi-faceted and unique life into its best presentation.
*This course is suitable for both MFA and graduate school applications as well as fellowship and residency applications, and even contests — anything which requires a writing portfolio and/or a statement of purpose/project.
About the Instructor
Kenzie Allen graduated from the University of Michigan (MFA Poetry ’14), where she was the winner of Hopwood Awards in Poetry and Non-Fiction, and the Meader Family Award and the Michael R. Gutterman Award. During her application to MFA programs she received acceptances and exceptional funding to the University of Alabama, University of Houston, University of Alaska at Fairbanks, Arizona State University, North Carolina State University, University of Michigan, and was waitlisted at Cornell University, Purdue University, and the University of Texas’ New Writers Program. She manages an online group for MFA applicants and ‘veterans’ that typically sees about 1500+ members each year, and maintains active discussions with directors of Creative Writing Programs in an effort to understand the application process. Kenzie has received full fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and the Aspen Summer Words Festival, and her work has appeared in Sonora Review, The Iowa Review, Drunken Boat, SOFTBLOW, Word Riot, The Puritan, BOATT PRESS, Apogee, and other venues. She is a descendant of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, and is the managing editor of the Anthropoid collective.
This course will “meet” throughout the month of August. You will have continuous access to a shared, secure course space throughout the span of the workshop, and will receive explanations and/or examples of various application materials, as well as prompts, exercises, and tips, at the start of each week. There will also be a forum on the course page where you and the rest of the workshop group can communicate with one another about ideas, questions, and your favorite sources for inspiration, ideas, and motivation.
At the end of week two you’ll have the opportunity to turn in your initial application portfolio for formal feedback from your instructor, who will give you editorial comments as well as suggestions for expansion in your reading and craft and the presentation of your work and background. You’ll also be able to ask questions in the course space, including in an “office hours” forum, where you might ask about application strategy, school choices, and even post-application advice.
Your second round of feedback will be flexible in timing — you’ll be able to turn in a second, revised portfolio at any time before October 15th, in scheduled slots with your peers so as to ensure a quick return. On each round of portfolio feedback you’ll receive written comments and evaluation as well as strategy suggestions, and will be able to ask follow-up questions.
Apiary’s workshops are designed to provide both one-on-one instructor feedback and guidance, and a learning environment and supportive community to share in with your peers.
What you can expect
- a password-protected space in which to share work with your workshop leader and peers
- 2 rounds of feedback and instructive support with your workshop leader on your writing portfolio and statement of purpose/project
- “office hours” in the form of private messaging and forum responses
- focused attention to the development and exploration of your own craft and language. This is about your work, and where you want to go.
- a supportive environment for your writing, always.