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Prepared by the Faculty and consultants of the
Long Ridge Writers Group


This test and evaluation will give you important
information about your potential as a writer
at no cost or obligation to you.


We recognize that most writing schools do not require any type of prequalification as a condition for enrollment. We do. And because we are selective, and because we give every student one-on-one mentoring with each assignment, we are able to promise very specific results to those who qualify:

By the time you finish the program, youll complete at least two manuscripts suitable to submit to editors. Youll also write a character sketch, plans for six stories or articles, and eight complete manuscripts.

Yes, were different. We aim higher. Our goal is to teach qualified people how to write for publication and how to sell their writing.

So, in order to find people who are qualified to enroll in our program, we offer this free Writing Test. We strictly limit our enrollment to those who pass it.

Since we begin with better students, its not surprising that we graduate superior writers.

On top of our promise is our unique guarantee:

If you are not satisfied that youve become a better writer and learned how to market your writing to publishers by the time youve completed our program, you can obtain a full refund.

Your responses to this test may also give us an indication of whether you prefer fiction, nonfiction, or both—and which of the dozens of genres of writing you find most interesting.

Of course, your instructor and your experience in our program will be of further help in defining your preferences, and you have total flexibility in choosing the kind of writing you want to do by the time youre ready to make a choice.

Choice and flexibility are two of the greatest advantages of this program: Were dedicated to helping you achieve the writing goals of your choice—at your pace and on your schedule.

How to make this test a pleasant experience

Before you begin, read the instructions and be sure that you understand all the questions. Theres no time limit and no hurry, so relax. On the other hand, dont dawdle; be spontaneous.

  • Read through the entire test before you begin. Follow directions carefully, and complete all seven parts.

  • You may spend as much time as you like on this test, but allow yourself at least one uninterrupted hour.

  • Find a quiet place to complete the test, such as a familiar work area where you will not be disturbed.

  • Relax and write in pen or pencil at a comfortable pace, or use a typewriter, word processor, or computer. There are no right or wrong answers.

We encourage your use of correct grammar and punctuation, but it is not of critical importance at this exploratory stage. If you have a natural aptitude for writing, well recognize it.

Please return this test for evaluation as soon as you have completed it. Your responses will be read carefully. And you have our assurance that all of your responses will be kept entirely confidential.

Remember, if you pass this test and decide to enroll, we’ll dedicate ourselves to your satisfaction and you will automatically qualify for our guarantee:  If you are not satisfied that you’ve become a better writer and learned how to market your writing to publishers by the time you’ve completed our program, you can obtain a full refund.
 

Good luck and have fun!

 


Our program, Breaking into Print, is recommended for college credits by the Connecticut Board for State Academic Awards and approved by the Connecticut Commissioner of Higher Education.

 

 

 

 

This Writing Test can be read in about five minutes.

To fill it out completely, including the essay at the end, could require an hour, up to several hours. To get started, you can print this Writing Test and work on it at your leisure.

Once it is completed, you can mail it to us, or you can return to this site and transfer your responses to the interactive aptitude test before submission. It’s your choice, whatever you’re the most comfortable with.

 

General Information About You 
 
Todays Date  _____________________
Mr. Mrs. Ms. Miss (Please circle one and print information requested below.)
Name

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Street _____________________________________

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City ______________________________________

State/Province____________

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Zip/Postal Code ___________

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Age (check one): ___ 14 - 16 ___17 - 21 ___ 22 - 29
___ 30 - 39 ___ 40 - 49 ___ 50 - 59 ___ 60 +
Home telephone:

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Your occupation:

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Education (check one):
___ some high school ___ college graduate
___ high school graduate ___ some post-graduate
___ some college ___ post-graduate degree


Special interests/hobbies:________________________________________________

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Which book have you enjoyed recently?_____________________________________

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What magazines/newspapers do you read? _____________

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Part 2: Why are you interested in writing?
In a brief paragraph, give us some background on your interest in writing. How long have you had this interest? How did it develop?

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Part 3: Think like a writer

An essential task for any writer is careful observation. The people you write about must come alive on the page. In this exercise, select the important details that distinguish the person youre describing. In 30-50 words, describe one of the following:

  • a person in a long supermarket line with an inept clerk at the checkout counter
  • a member of your family trying to deal with a cantankerous relative
  • a person telling his/her spouse about a promotion

Tip: Look for facial expressions, gestures, body language, and clothing style; listen for voice inflections.

Example:
Bundled in a hairy overcoat, the man drummed his fingers on a box of oatmeal, tapped his feet, rolled his eyes, and set his lips in a thin straight line. Finally, he shrugged. Muttering something inaudible, he stomped off, abandoning his crammed shopping cart.

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Part 4: Tap into your experience
Many beginning writers start with what they know. Over the years, your job, reading, education, training, hobbies, and interests have given you a wealth of knowledge. Capitalize on what you know by turning that information into a how-to.

Write step-by-step instructions to show a reader how to do something that you know well. Choose a skill that can be described briefly, perhaps in 10 steps. Select from the list below, or use a topic of your own.

Suggestions:

  • how to bait a hook for trout

  • how to change a tire

  • how to make a fried egg sandwich

  • how to prune a rosebush

  • how to make pastry dough

Tip: You dont have to be serious. A light touch can be effective and entertaining.

Title: How to___________________________________________________________

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Part 5: Focus on a subject to write about
In this part, you will take another step toward becoming a writer. To begin, think of several events that you have experienced or observed. They can be funny, annoying, or heartfelt.

You may think of your first date, a holiday celebration, a championship game, a childhood escapade, or an incident involving your first car. The person involved may be you or someone you know. 

Now, on the following lines, make a list of three to five of these events that you could write about.
 

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Now continue this writing experience in Part 6.

 

 

Part 6: Write from your life

Look back at the events you listed in Part 5. Think about how you could write about each of them in a way that would allow readers to share what you experienced or observed. Now choose the one event that you most want to write about. As you think about it, consider the following:
  • What happened?
  • Where did it take place?
  • Who was involved?

Tip: Not all details are necessary. Choose those that will make this event memorable to your reader. (No poetry, please.)

Its best to outline your idea and write the first draft on a separate piece of paper. Your final draft should be between 250 and 500 words.

Well be looking for originality, style, and your aptitude for conveying ideas and feelings. Grammar and punctuation are important, of course, but our main interest in this exercise is how you express yourself.

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Part 7: Choose a title

Most aspiring authors spend too much time worrying about a title. Our advice to you is this:

  • Dont spend more than three minutes choosing your title for Part 6. Make it a tentative or working title. Editors usually change it anyway.

  • The idea for your title should come directly from the story. In fact, the words for your title can probably be found in the story itself.

  • If possible, choose a title that makes the reader want to know more.

  • With this in mind, choose a working title for Part 6, and enter it below.

Working title for Part 6:

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A Closing Word

Now that you’ve told us about your interest in writing and shown us how you observe, explain, describe, and portray a person or event, youll be interested in knowing how we’ll evaluate your responses.

First of all, your responses (and especially the words you use and the way you use them) are all evaluated against many years of making thousands of similar evaluations. We have devised the questions and exercises in your test to be fun for you, while at the same time, your responses will be revealing to us.

Over the years, we’ve accumulated a vast amount of insight, knowledge, and understanding of what it takes to be a successful writer. We believe our experience with thousands of aspiring writers who have become published authors has given us an unusually broad and valid basis for evaluating your writing potential.

We are pleased to do so without obligationwhether you decide to start your training now or at some future date. The decision to start learning how to write and how to market your writing is, of course, always yours.

Long Ridge Writers Group

For instructors use
Editorial comment
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Mail all 12 pages of this test to:

Long Ridge Writers Group
91 Long Ridge Road
West Redding, CT 06896

Fax: (203) 792-8406
Email: InformationService@LongRidgeWritersGroup.com

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Long Ridge Writers Group
91 Long Ridge Road, West Redding, Connecticut 06896
Telephone: 1-800-624-1476 ~ Fax: 203-792-8406
Email:
InformationService@LongRidgeWritersGroup.com

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