STATE OF THE
readers on the state
of each of his projects.
Creative Writing 2021 at BYU
Brandon’s assistant Karen here. It’s that time again—time to send in your applications for Brandon’s Winter 2021 English 318R class.
Each year Brandon likes to teach a Creative Writing class at his alma mater, Brigham Young University. The lecture portion of his class (English 490R) is open to all students, limited only by the number of available seats in the lecture hall. BYU is holding in-person classes, so the plan is to have the class as usual and have a live stream of some sort for students who aren’t able to attend in person. Of course, those plans are subject to change as the situation develops.
In the small group portion of the class (English 318R), in addition to the lectures, students will be split into writing groups and will critique writing samples from the other members of the group. Brandon will also read and critique your writing. Because of the time commitment for him, we have to limit this group to 15 people. You must complete the application and submit a writing sample to have a chance at getting into this section. More general information about the class can be found in Brandon’s FAQ.
It’s my job to read and judge the applications, and choose the 15 most promising authors for Brandon to work with. We’re looking for writers who are already very good but could use a little extra help to become great.
We’ve had a huge response to our call for submissions in the last few years, and though I’ve tried different ways of accommodating the large number of applications we get, I’ve been forced to admit that I really can’t read more than 65 stories and remember them well enough to compare their relative merits.
Last year, those 65 slots filled up in the first six minutes after midnight on submission day. I don’t think it’s really fair for this chance to come down to a fastest finger contest, especially when clocks can be off by a couple of minutes. So this year, I will take submissions for one hour, 10:00-11:00 pm Mountain time on October 23, 2020. Then I will do a random drawing to choose which 65 submissions I will consider.
If you’re interested, the application is here. Make sure to follow the instructions EXACTLY. I will reject anyone whose email subject lines, application documents or writing samples are misnamed. Treat this as if you were submitting your manuscript to an editor for possible publication. More advice on how to make your submission the best it can be can be found here.
This job is one of the hardest assignments I get each year. I would love to be able to accept all the students, but I know that if I did, Brandon wouldn’t have time to write the books that we all love so much. Please remember that if you’re not chosen, it is not a rejection of you as a person, or of your writing potential. Either way, I hope you all keep pursuing your dreams.