Having a writing portfolio is essential when being a writer, especially when you enjoy writing in various mediums like myself. Since I like to write novels, short stories, and creative non-fiction, a writing portfolio is something I have been building up for years. If you don’t really know, a writing portfolio is a collection of work you have written (published or unpublished) that you have at hand to show to potential employers (if you are in freelance or such) or to just show off your work. Today, I will be giving some tips and ideas on building your writing portfolio to make it the best it can be and I hope you enjoy!
- Always Add to Your Portfolio – A writing portfolio is something that should never really be finished. Over the months or years, you should be continuously adding your best work to it. This allows you to have lots of options to select from and then showcase your best pieces. This also goes for editing, you should never stop editing your pieces. You don’t have to edit them every week, but every few months give them a quick look over because you will always find new ways to improve them.
- Choose the Pieces That Showcase You Best – Focus on pieces that really highlight you as a writer, whether that is your technique or voice, find the pieces that you love the most and seem the best to you. Don’t add something to your professional portfolio just because you wrote it, add it if you feel it has a valid reason for being in there and you think could get you somewhere in your career.
- Use Published Pieces the Most – If you don’t have any pieces published yet, that is fine, focus on showcasing the ones you think could be published in the future. But, if you have a short story or an essay published, that should automatically get first choice to be put in your writing portfolio. That way, when someone takes a look at it and sees that it had been published before, you will automatically seem more professional and qualified in their eyes. Don’t be discouraged if your work isn’t published though!
What To Do with Your Writing Portfolio:
- Showcase It On Your Blog or Social Media – Have a link to it somewhere on your blog or in the bio of your social media. Just have it somewhere others can reach it if they need to.
- Use Pieces for Writing Contests/Literary Journals – Since your writing portfolio should be your most POLISHED pieces, why not put them to work and submit them for publication? If they get published, great! If not, send them to a few more places or clean it up even more. Writing contests and literary magazines are particular and selective, which is why it is important to send your pieces out to various ones because they are all looking for different things.
- Submit Them to Scholarships – There are a lot of great writing scholarships out there if you are in school, but a lot of them require a LOT of writing samples. For example, one scholarship I am applying to in a few months asks for 8 different pieces of writing…8! That is a lot and I am still not at that number yet (although I am close). I wish I had a larger writing portfolio of pieces I am proud of because than this would be a lot easier.