Tips for Creating Your Writing Portfolio

Happy Monday!

Whenever the summer approaches, I get in the mood of wanting to finally start putting together my writing portfolio (which I never actually do, but this year I will!!) so I thought I would share with you guys what I’m doing to get mine prepped and ready, and some tips on how you can do that as well. I’ve done a post like this in the past, but since then, I’ve learned some more valuable tips and tricks when it comes to making it. Anyways, onto the post!

What Is a Writing Portfolio?

A writing portfolio is a collection of your best-written works that are on display for future employers to look at, offering them examples of your writing for them to debate whether they want to hire you or not. These are the pieces that you have put a lot of work and effort into and are the pieces you believe showcase you as a writer best.

Examples of Pieces:

  • Blog posts on topics related to what you are interested in and associated with
  • Short stories
  • Essays on topics you are interested in and associated with
  • Poems
  • Excerpts of FINISHED novels
  • News articles
  • Screenplays
  • Stage plays

TIPS:

  • Make Sure Nothing Is More Than 2 Years Old – You want to showcase your updated writing skills because every time we write, we get a little bit better. After 2 years, you definitely would have gotten a LOT better, and you want to exhibit that to potential employers!
  • Write Pieces Associated With Your “Brand” – By this, I mean don’t write things you think employers want to read. Write about what you usually write about because that is who you are as a writer. You want to come across as authentic as possible in your portfolio.
  • Incorporate As Many Writing Styles Possible – If you blog, write poems, and write short stories than that is great! Incorporate as many writing styles as you enjoy doing because that will make your portfolio much more diverse for potential employers. Personally, my portfolio will include blog posts, short stories, poems, essays, screenplays, and news articles (in the future) because those are the things I like to write.
  • Only Showcase Your BEST Writing – Don’t add something in that you just wrote and only gave a quick look over. Put in pieces that you’ve been working on for a while and have gotten your full attention.
  • Develop a Portfolio Over Time – The thing about creating your writing portfolio is that it takes time. You can put some pieces you’ve already polished up into it, but it is something that you should add to over time. For example, I’ve just written a few pieces that I am pretty proud of over the last 2 months, but this summer, I am going to be working on them a bit more just so they are the best they can be.
  • But Give Yourself a Timeline – I know I said let it develop over time, I do mean this, BUT you want to have something useable ASAP at the same time. What I’m doing is I am trying to get at least 4 of my already written and edited pieces (that I will work on over the summer) in my portfolio (which will be accessed through my blog) by the end of summer…so August 31. It is just a good idea so you are giving yourself lots of time, but not an infinite amount that means you will never get it finished.
  • Use As Many Pieces As Possible – Don’t use every piece you have ever written, but the more the better. I read an article that suggested you have anywhere from 10-35 pieces. Again, the 35 pieces end of it would be your portfolio after a few years of adding to it, but still, it is good to provide future and potential employers with lots of examples of your writing.

That is all for this blog post and I hope you enjoyed! My main tip though is to take your time. Put effort into your pieces and good things will result because of it. Anyways, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts (because I am active on Instagram again!) linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: How To: Write + COMPLETELY Edit a Short Story In ONE Week

 

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Building Your Writing Portfolio: Tips and Ideas

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.