As a creative writer, you’re versatile. You’re skilled at weaving narratives that are compelling and inventive. When you’re in the zone, it feels like the words just flow from your fingers and onto the page… well, except when writing your own portfolio. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
Sometimes, the hardest writing to do is the kind promoting yourself and your own skills. Yet, it’s an essential task if you want to make a living as a creative writer. To help clear up the writer’s block that can happen when creating your portfolio, take a look at these five creative writing portfolio examples. They showcase a range of different types of writers and will give you fresh inspiration to draw from.
Sarah Jayne Kipling
UK-based creative writer and literary editor Sarah Jayne Kipling has been published by the likes of The Evening Chronicle and The Sunday Sun. She also works as an editor and proofreads literary manuscripts and academic journal submissions. Kipling does a great job using her portfolio to highlight the breadth and diversity of her work, with sections for news stories, features, blogs and even poetry.
With such a heavy background in journalism, it makes sense that Kipling’s portfolio takes a formal tone, with a bio that’s centered around her literary achievements and accreditations. The tone you use in your bio should be reflective of the work you’re looking to land. For example, if you’re a humor columnist, your bio might be lighthearted and use playful language. If you’re a PR professional, you might take a more conservative approach, and so on.
Laventry Repin is a creative writer who has published more than 400 bylines across three countries. He uses his bio to outline his interests, which cover everything from ancient history to adventure travel. Here’s the key–the interests he mentions in his bio are directly tied to the samples in his portfolio, like a clip on hiking the Fish River Canyon in Namibia. Your bio should function not as a standalone item, but as an introduction and segue to the samples you’ve chosen to showcase.
Though conventionally, the clips in your writing portfolio are meant to link to examples of your work, Repin gets creative and uses one of his clips to link to a PDF of his resume. This is a nice way to give viewers access to more extensive information and professional background than what’s listed in the writer bio. Finally, he invites the viewer to connect with him on other platforms, linking to his website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles along with sharing his email address.
Cale Anthony Boudreau
The work of creative writer Cale Anthony Boudreau encompasses many different mediums, from blogs and short stories to video games and comics. His creative writing portfolio is not only a great example in and of itself, but an important reminder of the many different ways there are to make a living as a writer.
In one clip, Boudreau showcases the work he’s done creating character profiles and back story for an upcoming illustrated comic. This is noteworthy because we tend to assume that everything in a writing portfolio needs to be a piece of published work. In fact, that’s far from the truth. Your creative writing portfolio can be used to feature work that is still in progress, pieces that you’re working on getting published and even writing you did just for fun. It’s also a useful way to give readers a sneak peek of a project before the full version of a piece is widely available.
Giaco Furino is a screenwriter, entertainment journalist and branded content creator. His work has been featured by outlets like VICE and Popular Mechanics. Furino is a great example of how you can use your creative writing portfolio as a tool to generate interest and show off buzz about your latest and greatest project. In his bio, he begins by announcing the premiere date and location for his new screenwriting project. Then, he uses the topmost section of his clips to link to news coverage and reviews of the film itself. Genius!
Not everything in your creative writing portfolio has to be written by you. If there are third-party publications where you’ve been interviewed as an expert or your work is covered, don’t neglect the opportunity to promote them in your portfolio.
Furino uses additional portfolio sections to organize his work both by category (news, branded content, reviews, etc.) and by date range. This is a useful way to help visitors easily skim through all of your work or find a specific piece they’re looking for.
There’s a saying in the business world: “the riches are in the niches.” Sometimes, it pays to go deep on a single topic. Food writer Caroyln Jung is a shining example of this. She writes about one thing–food–and uses her online writing portfolio to demonstrate that she’s an expert at it.
Though Jung writes about a narrow subject matter, the samples in her portfolio show us that it doesn’t limit her versatility. She’s covered food for all kinds of media, from newspapers and magazines to public radio and podcasts. Further, she doesn’t just write about recipes or restaurants. Her portfolio showcases creative food-based topics like profiles of noteworthy chefs and food-centric travel pieces.
If you’re an expert in your niche, be it football or fashion, use your portfolio to prove it. As we mentioned earlier, not every writing sample has to be a byline in a publication like the New York Times. Works in progress, articles for niche online publications and posts on your personal blog are all viable ways to demonstrate your writing skills and subject matter expertise.
Now that you have some inspiration on the content for your creative writing portfolio, where should you host it? For a free and easy solution to create your online writing portfolio, check out Clippings.me.
Clippings.me is an online service that helps writers, journalists and bloggers showcase their best work and share it with the world. With Clippings.me, you can build your bio, add writing samples and customize your page without writing a single line of code or handling any complicated tech setup.
First, begin by registering for a free Clippings.me account here. Follow a few simple prompts to fill out the content of your writer bio and choose from a variety of design templates. Then, add your writing samples by linking to clips on the web or uploading them from your hard drive. Categorize them so they’re easy to browse. Finally, share your portfolio link far and wide to invite others to check out your work.
Clippings.me is the highest-ranked writing portfolio website, which ensures your portfolio shows up prominently in search results. Its superb support team answers support inquiries within 24 hours, while upgraded options like custom domains and unlimited clips are available for a low monthly fee with no contract. The free tier of Clippings.me has no strings attached and no credit card is required to sign up.
Join more than 80,000 writers who use Clippings.me to host their portfolios by signing up here. For more useful information to build your online writing portfolio and jumpstart your writing career, check out the Clippings.me blog.
Musings and updates from the content management team at Clippings.me.