What makes for the best writing sample when applying for things like residencies, fellowships, conferences or programs? Even if you haven't applied for these find of things, what do you think you would use? I've always used short stories and have some luck with this approach. But now I'm looking to apply for residencies, which are basically just going away to write and live among other writers and artist for a few weeks to a few months. I really want to do this, but from what I understand they are super competitive. Anyway, you can submit up to 50 pages for this one on my list. I was thinking of using two short stories. Polished work from my MFA thesis. The safe choice. But I've been writing this novel over the past few weeks. I'm in love with it. I love writing it. I love reading it. I even love editing it. I don't know if this is just some sort of writer's high that comes with when you're new to novel writing. But what if this really is the best work I've ever done? It feels like it is, and it has had a lot of my attention lately. I have about two weeks before the first deadline on my list for these sort of things I plan to apply for this year. I would have to really go back and polish the crap out of the first 50 pages, but it's not a mess. It might even be good. It's a risk. Especially since there is really no time to have another set of eyes on it. I would need to go through it myself first and that takes about two weeks, I believe. This is just the first deadline on my list this year. I can save the novel for a writing sample on another application if it seems too soon to use it. Like I said, I only started this novel earlier this month. I would love to hear what some of you think. Thanks in advance.