Tuesday, November 17

I Need Your Help

Posted by Shelly Holder

So I have an application deadline coming up soon for a writing position here on campus. And I would like people to look over my application essay. The requirements are 300-500 words, on this topic:
Explain why you would like to be a writing and oral communication consultant. Indicate any related experience you’ve had and/or qualifications for the position, including relevant class work. Also include any other information you think we should know as we consider your application.

And so, PLEASE tell me what you think. I have been applying to this job for my third time in a row now, and I really really want to actually get it.

I love words. Really, really love words.

I love playing with words, rearranging word order or debating between minute word differences. Words are everything to me- more than a drug, more than a god, more than anything. And for many years, I've been on one side of the pen, but I believe that to become a better writer I need to understand how to effectively edit as well.
I believe that I do have a natural sort of talent at identifying problem areas, but I would like to be officially trained, and more desirable still, I would like to learn solutions. Instinct is fine, but I would like to have the confidence and experience of formal education behind me.
I would also like to work with academic and expository writing. With my background in fiction and poetry, it's easy to forget that critical papers require just as much creativity. I do realize this, and would like to get involved in this other side of the creative process. Writing is not, as I sometimes think, limited to the profession of publishing, but is a product of the entire world around us-- from the casual to the intensely formal. It is impossible, and harmful, to ignore something that is as vital as academic or analytical writing.
I would love to be a part of that creative process for a student here on campus. The ability to collaborate artistically is one of the most beneficial and enjoyable pursuits available, and I have determined to spend my life in that sort of environment. Sometimes, however, the campus atmosphere is detrimental to that sort of mindset-- encouraging individual excellence to a point of self-sufficiency that is exclusionist in scope. I believe that collaborative projects can be broader in vision and more successful in implementation than projects undertaken by a single individual. Truly extraordinary papers are created by the same sort of cohesive effort.
I have seen the benefits of collaborative work in the creative writing peer review group critINK that I founded and directed this past semester. The atmosphere of the meetings are wonderful, and all works have truly improved, not only for the writer, but also for the reviewer. Sometimes the only way to learn is to put aside your own work and help someone else. I know that personally I have benefited more from my role as the director of this group that I ever expected, or could ever expect as a member, because in my quest to help others, I have incidentally helped myself. I am more knowledgeable because of others, and I am more well-versed because of others.
In short, I have applied before to this position, and I have been rejected before. But I do not consider this a failure. Each time I am forced into a new position that helps me grow as a writer. And each application is another step towards a goal that I have determined is my destiny.


Rachel said...

Hey Shelly!

Hopefully this comment comes before your deadline! I have been really busy and trying to find time to give you some help (thus the reason I ditched on critINK yesterday... shame on me for having so much work to do). Anyway, I think this is good. I'm wondering though if you should mention at all your success in academic papers as well? Also, I'm really unsure about that last paragraph. I'm sort of afraid it might come off as a little cheesy. But other than that - I think it's good :) Best of luck!!!

flightsofwhimsy said...


I'm sorry this is a little late, but I thought maybe I would put in some comments nonetheless.

The first is just a little formatting thing - I think you should either indent your paragraphs, put returns (enter) between your paragraphs, or both. In its current form I feel like it is difficult to read, which is not a pro.

I agree with Rachel in that I think the academic aspect of the prompt is fairly neglected (especially when they ask about prior coursework, which is a way you could mention your academic writing).

I also find myself hesitant about the final paragraph. It could come off cheesy - I think in particular the problem is the use of the word "destiny". Perhaps you could rework that last sentence? Do you mean that the WRC itself is your destiny or is it writing in general?

Hope this helps! Good luck.


writinflower01 said...

Thanks to both of you! It really helps to have this feedback.

Anonymous said...

Sweetie! I really think this is great. I like it very much.

Is this all of the application or is there anywhere you list items that were published in WInged Nation, your essay contest? Don't know what is appropriate for the position you are applying for.

A couple of things I noticed:
-I was taught that a sentence should not begin with "and" or "but". You've got at least one sentence with each. Because you are applying for an editorial type position, this is a good idea? Your decision --- just want you to be sure! I understand your use of them and yet is that the best choice when you are applying to be an editor/teacher? Are grammar skills part of the requirements for selection?

-- In the resume tips I've been reading it is suggested that the present tense be used. So....when you are talking about critInk it might be better to say "fo"unded in Fall of 2009 and currently direct" or "serve as director". The sentences following that are present tense so I think this should be too.

--small typos ---
"words are everything to me - " (be sure to get a space after "me")

"director of this group than"