Work Sample Requirements

In order for applications to be considered by MacDowell’s admissions panels, applicants within each discipline must adhere to the following work sample requirements.

  • All submitted work samples should have been completed within the past four years, unless otherwise noted. A note of explanation should accompany any work sample completed outside of this timeframe.
  • Any work done with a collaborator must be noted. Please describe your role with respect to the work.
  • Work Samples are submitted by uploading media within the online application.

For technical support regarding any of the media requirements, please see the Help page on the SlideRoom application or contact

Architecture & Landscape Architecture

Whenever possible, please include a visual representation of the work you are proposing to do at MacDowell.

If proposing design work:

  • Upload 10 images of work completed within the past two years, along with an explanation of significant features. Please include details of equipment and methodology of the final product in the description field for each image.
  • Upload a PDF file of a one-page Executive Summary of your C.V.

If proposing a writing project:

  • Upload a PDF file of a 10-page writing sample completed within the past two years, related as closely as possible to the proposed project.
  • Upload a PDF file of a one-page Executive Summary of your C.V.

Film/Video Arts

Filmmakers/Video artists:

Submit two different film or video samples. Work-in-progress is strongly recommended. Do not submit trailers or director reels as your work sample. Video work intended for gallery installation should be submitted through the Visual Arts category.

1. Feature Length:

  • Upload a 5-minute excerpt from two different feature-length films.
  • In addition, if the full work is available online through Vimeo or YouTube, add the location (URL) to Media step on the Media page. If your work is password protected, include the password in the description field.

2. Shorts:

  • Upload up to four 5-minute videos.


  • Upload a PDF file of a full screenplay, listing a 25-page excerpt for panel discussion.
  • Upload a PDF file of a one-page summary of the same screenplay.
  • Upload a five-minute visual sample, if available. The visual sample can be of the same project or another project.

Interdisciplinary Arts

Submit documentation of two different projects completed within the past four years. If your work involves time-based elements such as movement or dance, video documentation of the work is strongly preferred. Work samples should demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of your work and clearly convey the context in which the work was presented.

You may submit up to five items per project. The following types of documentation are allowed:

  • Images
  • Scripts, work plans or story boards as PDF files. Press kits, reviews and CV’s are not appropriate.
  • Audio files
  • Videos. Submit a continuous clip of not more than 10 minutes per video. Do not send a highlight reel. Whenever possible, include the original music or soundtrack of the video excerpt.

If the full work is available online through Vimeo, YouTube or SoundCloud, add the location in the URL field of the Label Media step on the Portfolio Page. Please include passwords for password protected works.


Submit a writing sample in the same genre in which you are applying. Work-in-progress is strongly recommended. Writing samples must be in English. Your name and the title of the piece should appear on the top of each uploaded file.

Upload a PDF file in manuscript format, double-spaced, and in an easily readable, 10- or 12-point font. Files cannot exceed 10 MB each.

  • Fiction writers: 15 pages minimum, 25 pages maximum.
  • Nonfiction writers: 15 pages minimum, 25 pages maximum.
  • Poets: 6-10 poems in ONE PDF document. Poets do not need to double-space their submissions. Total sample should not exceed 15 pages.
  • Translators: Only those translating work into English are eligible to apply. Following the guidelines above, upload an excerpt of the work in its original language along with the English translation.

For instructions on saving a Word document as a PDF, please use the instructions listed on the Help page of the SlideRoom application or contact

Music Composition

Submit documentation of three representative works, at least one of which was completed within the last four years, with recording and score, as directed below. Presentation and professionalism of scores is important.

Upload an audio recording of each work:

  • One track per piece, movement, or excerpt
  • Please title the audio file to correspond with the title (and movement) of the score.
  • Audio files are limited to 30 MB in size. Larger files may be excerpted. Please mark the excerpt location in the accompanying score.

Upload the accompanying score for each audio submission.

  • Please title the PDF of the score or lead sheet to correspond with the title of the audio file.
  • Composers who do not use traditional scores must upload a PDF describing the transmission/performance method of their work, in the work sample section of the application.


Following the guidelines below, submit a sample of a completed work. Do not submit work-in-progress or reviews of your work.


  • Upload a PDF of a full script.
  • Upload a PDF of a 30-page excerpt from the same script.

Librettists/Musical Theatre:

  • Upload a PDF of a full book.
  • Upload a PDF of a 30-page excerpt from the same book.
  • Upload an audio recording from the same work: limit of three audio tracks.

Performance/Devised Theatre:

  • Upload a PDF that lists the URLs of 2 videos or video clips of your visual work.
  • Upload a PDF of a comprehensive work plan, describing what you would do at MacDowell. If working collaboratively, each member of the collaboration should specify their role in the project.
  • Upload a PDF of a transcript, text, or written documentation of the performance. If your work is not text-based, please include a written explanation of how the work unfolds in time.

Generative Directors:

  • Upload a PDF of a detailed proposal, text or transcript, or storyboard that explains the new work.
  • Upload a PDF of a comprehensive work plan for your time at MacDowell.
  • Upload original source material to be adapted, if applicable.

Visual Arts

Submit examples of your visual artwork.

Upload eight digital images:

  • Preferred file size for still images is less than 3 MB each.
  • Only one artwork per image, unless it is an installation view.
  • Two of the eight images may be detail shots, installation views (to show scale), or video, when appropriate.

Fall 2021

Deadline: Apr 15, 2021

Oct 1, 2021 – Jan 31, 2022

Accepting Applications:
Feb 15 – Apr 15, 2021

Winter/Spring 2022

Deadline: Sep 15, 2021

Feb 1 – May 31, 2022

Accepting Applications:
Jul 15 – Sep 15, 2021

Summer 2022

Deadline: Jan 15, 2022

Jun 1 – Sep 30, 2022

Accepting Applications:
Oct 15, 2021 – Jan 15, 2022