2 years ago
Admissions Advice

What are some options for extracurriculars for someone with a writing "spike"?

I am a rising junior and as someone who has a big interest in writing, books, comics, drawing, etc., what would be the best extracurriculars for me to join and invest in? I'm starting a comic book club when I enter school, and I am in the book club at my school, but I feel like I should do more to show my passion in that field and therefore show colleges my devotion to that field, especially since I intend to major in English/Creative Writing. Any tips on what to do?


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

Hi @EricD,

Here are some ECs I did in HS so I'll share them with you. I think they helped me get into Columbia University.

-Editor of the School Newspaper (this shows both leadership and an interest in journalism and time management)

-Editor of various creative writing journals - (again, this shows both leadership and an interest in creative writing, like poetry, short stories)

-Editor of an online ZINE - (again, this shows leadership and creativity in a multi-media format which is like a flip through magazine.

-Contributing writer to at least 2 local Newspapers - This shows self starter initiative and willingness to work with professional journalists who edit your work.

-Editor of a parody Newspaper at a Boarding School - This is like a smaller version of the Harvard Lampoon or Columbia Federalist.

-Contributing writer for a linguistics journal - This shows you can write in an expository style about various subjects with proper footnotes and credits.

-Member of a my local library steering committee - Every year about 6-8 of us mostly adults picked a "book of the year" for the library. So the purpose of this group was to read about 20 best sellers and come up with a short list and then vote on the book. Then we would order 500-1000 of them and organized a evening open house with the city to give out the book to the community for free. We would invite the writer as well to speak about the book and if they could attend in person, sign copies.

-Enter some creative writing contests. These happen all the time and are either at the state level or the national level.

In your case since you love comics and graphic novels, I think it would be very compelling if you created your own comic/graphic novel and had that published through Amazon or something similar.

I took a gap year after HS to attend a boarding school as a post-graduate student. This gave me additional opportunities to take more English Classes. I took 6 additional English classes to the 5 I took in High School including AP Lit and AP Lang and Journalism. I highly recommend that you take some add'l English classes if this is your spike.

Outlier.org is a very good platform that is inexpensive and legit. There are at least 2 or 3 college English classes you can take on there. This will show more course rigor relating to your major. Also it's also compelling if you can get 35/36 scores on the English/Reading sections of the ACT or a 750-800 on the English section of the SAT.

I hope this is helpful for you. Good luck.

2 years ago

Hi @EricD!

The list below is a good start, but just to add, here's our blog with extracurricular ideas for prospective writing students: https://blog.collegevine.com/extracurriculars-writing/

In short, your best bet is to get published somewhere — either in a writing competition, school newspaper, or even a wider publication. Having a blog that gets decent viewership could also be a good thing to show off in your application. But the important thing is you demonstrate the dedication needed to get a piece published.

Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions.

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