7 Tips for Crafting Your Writer's Statement
Friday, October 25, 2019
Friday, October 25, 2019
Does the thought of writing a Personal Statement, or (as Juniper calls it) a Writer’s Statement, fill you with indescribable dread? Many writing programs, colleges, universities, and conferences, require this document in addition to a writing sample. So what are they actually looking for?
At the Juniper Institute for Young Writers , we want to know more about who you are as a writer and why you write what you write. Here are some tips for putting together a Writer’s Statement for our application. We hope it will also prove helpful for future applications in your writing career as well!
1. Think about how the Writer’s Statement fits into the rest of your application. How can it fill in the blanks? Think about a few important details about you that don’t appear in other parts of your application — the Writer’s Statement is your place to add that information.
2. Don’t just tell us where you’ve been — tell us where you hope to go. What writing projects are you working on now? What do you want to explore in your writing in the future?
3. Tell us what themes appear in your writing. What ideas do you keep coming back to? What questions are you wrestling with? Why do they motivate you so deeply?
4. You have such limited space in your statment, so don't worry about describing the program you're applying to — we know who we are, we want to hear about you! If you have the space to make connections between the program and your goals, that’s great — but there’s no need to spend too much time summarizing the program itself.
5. We all love reading. So try not to spend time telling us about what books are important to you — tell us why. Draw connections between what you read and what you write. Who are you as a reader in addition to being a writer?
6. Tell us about what fuels your writing. What do you feel is missing? What difference do you want to make in the world? Why do you continue to write even when it’s difficult?
7. Look at the writer’s statement not just as part of the application process, but as an important document capturing a snapshot of who you are as a writer at this point in time. Creating it should lead to new insights into who you are and why you write. No matter how your applications turn out, now and in the future, taking the time to articulate your identity as a writer is always worthwhile.
Hopefully these tips have inspired you to write your Writer’s Statement! After all, you’re already an amazing writer — you got this!