National Writing Project

Rethinking Creative Writing: An Interview with Stephanie Vanderslice

Date: April 12, 2012

Summary: We spent an hour with Stephanie Vanderslice, director of the Great Bear Writing Project in Arkansas, and author of Rethinking Creative Writing. Stephanie talks with us about her book and her thinking about how and why we should reform undergraduate and postgraduate creative writing programs.


Excerpt from Show

What I really try to teach my students is how much writing is a lot of other things in addition to writing. It's being completely immersed in the world of literacy and words and books. So the writing has to happen, unquestionably, and I'm constantly trying to carve time for that; I often end up getting up early, and I'm not a morning person. But that's sometimes the only time I have to do it. But it's so much else: it's going to readings; if you're a student, it's volunteering to help start a reading series; it's starting your own literary magazine. I'm trying to teach my students that it's not about being in 'that room', as much as some of us are introverts and really like being there, it's not about that. It's about reaching out and it's about really as involved as you can get in helping other people, and all of you kind of celebrating art and literacy and writing.

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