Extracurriculars for writers?
I’m currently a sophomore from SoCal, and I’m aiming to get into Yale. I see so many people over the COVID-19 quarantine start non-profits/organizations, and I feel like if I started my own literary magazine, it’s too common and won’t help me stand out. So, what other ec’s (that involve writing and is super impactful) can I do to stand out from the crowd?
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Just some random thoughts.
1.) Create an online "ZINE" with your closest literary friends. You can self publish or you can collaborate with your schools newspaper class. But pick a topic that isn't mainstream like BIPOC themes, LGBTQIA themes, writings from other Pandemics (I found an article about music during the 1918-1919 pandemic. People wrote songs like the "Influenza Blues"
2.) If you aren't the editor of your school newspaper, that's still an excellent EC to show leadership and use your voice.
3.) Be the curator or editor of your school creative writing journal. If there isn't one, start one. Have students submit their poetry, short stories, etc, and put together an annual journal.
4.) See if your town's local newspaper would allow you to contribute articles about student life in your town.
5.) Mentor younger girls 7-9th grade in Middle School workshops about creative writing and help them find their voice.
If you want to stand out above the crowd of talent you have to take risks and use your voice to impact change in your school, change in your community, and change your state and country. Otherwise, application readers will see that your goal was to click off the checkboxes because it looks good on paper. Your essays and interview are going to have to align with your body of work so try less to find things that look good and find more things that challenge your comfort zone. You have to move the goalposts to stand out and kick the ball where no one can see it land.
Really awesome ideas and answers here! Just wanted to add a few more:
1. Writing competitions - just make sure they're legitimate (you shouldn't have to pay to enter).
2. Starting a blog - pretty common, but if you can find an interesting niche (not just a personal blog, but something like a city blog, mental health blog, etc.) and actually get results (pageviews, followers, etc), it would be impressive. Blogging is actually heavily strategy-based, and you learn a lot of marketing skills like Search Engine Optimization. It's just a lot of work, so don't dive in unless you're ready for it!
3. Copywriting - see if you can help a local business with their written marketing materials, like emails, social media, website.
4. Starting a free tutoring program for low-income students in SAT reading/writing.
Best of luck!
Ok I think the point is not that it's common but it should be something that appeals to you and not something that a few people are doing. You could start an organisation offering advice to people impacted by Covid-19. Gender based violence is increasing and offering a shoulder to cry on is something that stands out. But do it because you are passionate about it and not because you want to get into Yale