National Writing Project

A Conversation About Creative Writing Pedagogy: Where Are We Going Next?

Publication: Fiction Writers Review
Date: July 14, 2011

Summary: Stephanie Vanderslice, director of the Great Bear Writing Project, along with educators Cathy Day and Anna Leahy, discusses creative writing pedagogy and how it fits into the educational landscape.


Excerpt from Article

It's time to get on with creative writing pedagogy. Can creative writing be taught? Yes, we're not charlatans, though teaching looks different here than in other disciplines. Should college-level teachers of creative writing be practicing writers? Yes. Though being a great writer doesn't make you a great teacher, creative writing teachers are strengthened by engaging in the practice themselves. What's the relationship between creative writing and composition studies? While creative writing is not in opposition to composition studies, neither is it a variation of or subdiscipline within composition studies. Should we grade creative writing? If we are working in institutions that require grading, of course. There exist ways to approach the evaluation of students' skills and written work that can be minimally intrusive on the writing process and even useful. Is the workshop monolithic? No, the workshop is an adaptable model.

Why do thousands of creative writing instructors who teach courses professionally who speak and write about teaching creative writing proceed as if this growing body of pedagogy doesn't exist? We need this conversation we need it now to examine the current state of creative writing pedagogy and propose several areas for further investigation."

Copyright © 2011. Cathy Day, Anna Leahy, and Stephanie Vanderslice. Reprinted with permission.
Day, Cathy; Leahy, Anna; & Vanderslice, Stephanie. 2011, February 2. "Where Are We Going Next? A Conversation about Creative Writing Pedagogy (Pt. 1)" in the Fiction Writers Review .

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