Building a Website for Your Creative Writing Portfolio
Published on Nov 3, 2022 by Jess Reider
Breaking into creative industries requires having an easily accessible portfolio of your work to demonstrate your skills and experience. For writers, websites serve as a great tool to creatively display a body of work to potential employers, freelance clients, co-creators, and more.
In Full Sail’s Creative Writing degree program, students are encouraged to create a website to help showcase their personal brand, collection of work, and most importantly, the quality of their writing ability.
“As a writer, your name becomes your brand. Your website should be a place that hiring managers or fans of your work can go to learn more about you, your published works, your skills, as well as how to find you on social media,” shares Wes Locher, a Creative Writing graduate and Senior Game Writer at Magic Tavern. With more than a decade of experience writing professionally for comic books, video games, and more, Wes has found his website to be an invaluable tool for sharing his work and attracting new opportunities.
“When I was starting my writing career more than a decade ago, my website was ground zero for those who were seeking writers with the abilities I possessed,” says Wes. “Clients seeking freelancers could visit my site, read my work, and easily reach out if they wanted to further discuss working together.”
According to Creative Writing Program Director Noelani Cornell, it’s important to keep the type of work you’re looking to attract in mind when building your site. “Some [employers] are looking for a specific skill set whereas others want generalists. We convey to our students that they need to brand themselves on their websites and emphasize particular skill sets for the different jobs they’re applying to.”
For many creative writers working in script writing, comics, and novelizations, it can be overwhelming to showcase a body of work in a way that doesn’t ask the reader to dive deep into lengthy scripts or whole novels. For this, Wes suggests taking a simpler approach.
“Excerpt 10 pages or less that showcase your strengths as a writer," he says. "Pick a scene with dramatic tension, an argument, a comedic scene with your best jokes. The goal should be to showcase what you write best. Show hiring managers that you can write dialogue, reveal character, and establish motivations.”
For creative writers in every genre, it’s important to be selective, focusing on quality over quantity. “It's not impressive to have 20 different pieces of work,” says Wes. “It's impressive to have five quality pieces of work. You don't want a hiring manager having to pick and choose what they look at when reviewing a portfolio, you want to be guiding them to the best samples possible.”
But catering your website to attract potential employers isn’t just about having great work and communicating your skills, it’s also about demonstrating your personality.
“I’ve always ensured that my website is functional but still showcases my personality and voice as a writer,” Wes says. “Many portfolio sites are very plain and informative and vanilla. Make yours stand out but do it with colorful backgrounds or an abundance of stock images, and do it with your words.”