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Who should my recommender be?

Your recommender should be someone who has read your creative writing and who can compare it to the general pool of writers of your age and level of experience. A classroom teacher would be great. If a visiting artist has taught at your school, or you’ve taken an extracurricular creative writing workshop, the person who led that would also be great. If your school has a literary magazine or newspaper, consider asking the faculty advisor.

Family members are not in a position to write your letter. They love you too much. Likewise, peers are not good choices.

When you approach someone to write for you, give the recommender copies of your statement of purpose and writing sample, even if they are still in draft form. They give the recommender something to riff on when preparing a letter.

The letter should go directly to the university, not to you. It can be the same letter you're using for general admission, or a second letter. You'll need an email address for your recommender. As you're filling out your Stony Brook application, you'll enter that email into the form and the university will send your recommender a link for uploading the letter.

If you're a current SBU student, ask your recommender to email your letter, with your name in the subject line and the letter as an attachment, to