Creative Writing: Teaching Theory & Practice

ISSN 2040-3356

Creative Writing: Teaching Theory & Practice

Volume 2 Number 1 February 2010 ISSN 2040-3356

Below are four interesting new peer reviewed articles on the theory and practice of Creative Writing pedagogy chosen from those received through the 2009 call for papers. They cover a variety of aspects from a number of perspectives and it is anticipated that they will stimulate debate in a number of areas related to the pedagogy of writing. It is pleasing to see that some reference has been made to previous papers in the first issue of the journal by the articles below.

Revisions From Within   pages 1-32
This article examines Creative Writing pedagogy scholarship and highlights the fusion of theories, methodologies, and practices from all aspects of English studies. It discusses graduate program design in the context of inquiry into pedagogy and presents, working from Blythe and Sweet’s taxonomy, re-conceptions of the Creative Writing classroom that may prompt continued inquiry from academics who assign equal importance to their Creative Writing, teaching, and scholarship.

Waifs and Strays  pages 33-40
Starting from a practical session aimed at granting a written work autonomy to reply to its author, this paper points up choices individuals make in constructing a ‘voice’, a writing self. It takes the case of the creative piece rejected or distrusted by its author for reasons other than that of quality, and uses it to map some disputable parts of the borderline between the critic’s and the writer’s use of theory, with implications for the practice of the writing teacher too.

The Writer's Brain   pages 40-50
This paper uses neuroscience as a way of examining common forms of writing resistance. It argues that these can be categorized within the three instinctual responses the limbic system relies on: freezing (momentary paralysis), followed by the choice of fighting or fleeing. It is imperative that instructors understand the neurological causes of resistance, recognize resistance in its many guises, and find ways to help students relax in the writing classroom and during out-of-class writing so that their creative cerebral cortex can reengage.

Isolation   pages 51-58
This article argues that the myth of the writer’s isolation undermines the project of teaching Creative Writing, particularly at PhD level. It asserts that isolation is an idea that is actively fostered by the structures and often the staff of the institutions that offer creative writing degrees and engages with ways that teachers can contribute to process centred understandings of Creative Writing.

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