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Writing on Writing

How does creative writing happen? How does one go about crafting a work of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction? What do writers think as they write? In what ways do they struggle, and how do they overcome their struggles? What are their experiences with the business side of creative writing (publishing, dealing with editors, agents, rejection, etc.), and what advice can they offer? Through scholarly essays, reflective narratives, manifestos, credos, informed rants, and more, WoW illuminates the craft of writing and the writing life.

WoW also explores the territory of creative writing pedagogy, a strange and wonderful space too often ignored even by those who make it their home. Can creative writing be taught, and if so, how? What methods and ideologies are effective for different types of students on different types of campuses? What pedagogies are growing stale in creative writing, and why? What new pedagogies are emerging? How might other academic disciplines inform what goes on in the creative writing workshop? How can/should creative departments situate themselves in English departments and universities, and what politics are involved? Just what is creative writing, anyway?

To read the essays, click the Flashpaper/PDF links, or right-click to save the files to your computer. We like flashpaper better for online viewing. Both formats are printer-friendly.

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...the alchemists teach.    
"Recorded-Voice Formative Assessment for Creative Writing Students: A Case Study" Flashpaper PDF
Patrick West    
"How the University Workshop Hinders New Writers from Engaging with Ideas (And What to Do About It)" Flashpaper PDF
Catherine Cole    
"Creating Nonfiction" Flashpaper PDF
Jill L. Talbot    
"Selling the Script! The Pedagogy of Film Co-production Scriptwriting" Flashpaper PDF
Cher Coad and Patrick West    


...what to do when you don't know what to do, how to do it, and why.    
"Writing with Simone de Beauvoir" Flashpaper PDF
Sandra Gail Teichmann    
"An Exercise: The Rousselian Pun-Puzzle" Flashpaper PDF
James Ryan    
"'Why Experimental Writing Not': A Class Collage" Flashpaper PDF
Janis Butler Holm    

Craft and Process

...investigations and lessons on how to and how not to.    
"On Madness, Architecture, Carpentry, and Judgment in a Growing Grown-Up Writer" Flashpaper PDF
Andy Fogle    
"In Defense of Telling: How to Put Ideas into Your Short Fiction" Flashpaper PDF
Sybil Baker    
"The Narrative Voice of Trauma" Flashpaper PDF
Shawne Steiger    
"One Art: 'Neither Out Far Nor In Deep'—25 Workshopping Essais Toward a Maker's Mark" Flashpaper PDF
GTimothy Gordon    

the writing life

...tales, insights, and advice on living the dream/nightmare.    
"Fantasies of Fame: Are Writing Seminars and Conferences Worth Your Time and Money?" Flashpaper PDF
David McGrath    
"Tales of a Chicago Freelancer" Flashpaper PDF
David McGrath    


...manifestos, informed rants, raves, and more.    
"Some Issues in the Teaching of Creative Writing" Flashpaper PDF
Reginald Shepherd    
"Ban Writing" Flashpaper PDF
Jenny Sinclair    


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