Creative Writing

Students currently in 8th-11th grades may apply for High School Arts Instruction.

The Creative Writing program is looking for curious, imaginative students who love language and are willing to work hard to develop their craft and grow as an artist. We study a variety of literature in many genres to explore the possibilities of literary expression and to make connections to our current moment as writers. Students are encouraged to develop their own voice and vision through reading, writing, discussion and critique, while supporting fellow writers in their own endeavours.

Include with your completed application (First round pre-screen):

    1. An original work of creative writing. This can be a poem, short story, or work of creative nonfiction that you have spent time revising and consider to be an example of your best work.
    2. A list of books you have read over the past three months. The list should include the title (in italics) and author (first and last name) of each book. Your list should reflect your interests and also how you’ve challenged yourself as a reader. If you need reading recommendations, teachers and librarians are excellent resources.
    3. A writing sample (poem, short story, or creative nonfiction) that describes what you see outside a window in your home. Please include sensory details (how things look, smell, taste, sound, or feel) and at least one simile or metaphor. Limit: 10 lines of poetry or 100 words of prose (fiction/non-fiction).
    4. An essay discussing a poem, short story or book you read that influenced you as a writer. Please tell us how this work/author changed the way you think about writing. Use quotes and examples from the text to support your ideas. The essay should be between 300 and 500 words.

All writing submissions should be typed using a standard 12-point font and black ink. Please proofread your submissions to ensure that they are free from grammatical and spelling errors. Selected students will be asked to advance to the Audition Process.

Selected applicants from the first Pre-Screening Round will be invited to the second In-Person Audition Round at NOCCA.

At the audition (Second round by invitation only):

    • Students invited to audition must bring an additional writing portfolio consisting of at least 10 typed pages of original creative writing (poetry, short fiction, or creative nonfiction) and an updated list of recently read books.
    • Students may be asked to write a short piece assigned by the instructor and will be asked to read aloud and discuss a published poem or story excerpt.
    • All students invited to an audition should be prepared for a one-on-one interview with a faculty member. Consider these questions prior to your audition date: Why do you want to study writing? Are you willing to spend many hours outside of class on your reading and writing? What do you need to know about NOCCA and the writing program in order to determine if it’s the right fit for you? Successful students demonstrate a strong desire to read and write as well as a willingness to do more than the work required.
    • Students may also be asked to attend a creative writing class.

In addition to individual department requirements, all applicants will:

    • Upload to the application a 1-2 minute video of the applicant answering the question, “Why do I want to train at NOCCA?”
    • Upload to the application a copy of the most recent report card. Applicants must have at least a 2.0 GPA.
    • Be prepared with the email of an adult who is not related to you to complete your recommendation. Your recommender will receive an email from Acceptd with a link to fill out a recommendation form online.


Photo of Anne Gisleson Anne Gisleson Department Chair
(504) 940-2822

Anne Gisleson is the author of The Futilitarians (Little, Brown) and her writing has appeared in The AtlanticThe Los Angeles Times, The Oxford AmericanThe Believer and many other publications.…

Photo of Anya Groner Anya Groner Creative Writing Faculty

Anya Groner’s essays and stories can be read in magazines including The Atlantic, The Oxford American, The New York Times, and Orion Magazine.…

Photo of Elizabeth Gross Elizabeth Gross Creative Writing Faculty

Elizabeth Gross is the author of this body/that lightning show, selected by Jericho Brown for the Hilary Tham Capital Collection of The Word Works Press (2019) and DEAR ESCAPE ARTIST, ARTIST, a chapbook in collaboration with artist Sara White (Antenna 2016).…

Photo of Andy Young Andy Young Creative Writing Faculty
(504) 940-2819

Andy Young is the author of four chapbooks, including John Swenson Dynamicron, forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press, and a full-length poetry collection, All Night It Is Morning (Diálogos Press, 2014).…

Translate »