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CFP Special Issue: Teaching Creative Writing

The teaching of music, dance, painting and other arts is well-respected in the academy, but in creative writing a myth lingers in the minds of many: you either have “it” or you don’t. As instructors much of our time is spent attempting to dispel this myth; indeed, Kelly Ritter and Stephanie Vanderslice go so far as to title their anthology of creative writing pedagogy essays Can It Really Be Taught?

For those of us who believe that creative writing can and should be taught, the more pertinent and relevant question is how to do so. For a special issue on creative writing pedagogy, Modern Language Studies invites essays that attempt to address the nuts and bolts of teaching creative writing in inventive, contemporary, and stimulating ways. Papers should seek not merely to identify flaws within current methods of instruction in creative writing, but instead address how to correct those flaws and/or to consider in their stead effective and rewarding teaching methods for both students and instructors.

Essays need not be limited solely to the academy itself; essays regarding pedagogy in nontraditional classrooms are also welcome. Topics need not be limited to traditional workshop models, either. Essays that argue for alternative methods of formal (or informal) instruction are especially welcome.

Other possible topics include:

• Utilization of digital media in the classroom and the potential benefits and risks of incorporating technology into the classroom; especially in regards to MOOCs and their potential influence on current methods of instruction
• The role of publication in the creation of a text; when and how to incorporate discussion of and practice in publishing in a creative writing education
• The specific merits of cross-genre (poetry, fiction, etc.) instruction in a student’s development as a writer
• Discussion of instruction in “genre” fiction versus “literary” fiction in general fiction writing workshops; the merits of genre-specific (fantasy, horror, etc.) classes
• The management of workshop dynamics
• The place of literary theory and formal analysis in the creative writing classroom; especially when considering the rise of MFA and undergraduate degree programs in creative writing as a potential response to the decrease in attendance in traditional English programs
• The merits and potential drawbacks of nontraditional methods of instruction incorporated into a traditional workshop structure (or those that abandon the traditional workshop altogether)
• The management and encouragement of a student’s development in long-term programs of study versus their development in a single course
• The role of cultural politics in the selection of class readings; the relationship between creative writing instruction and diversity/multicultural studies; how creative writing’s relationship to diversity may differ from that of other degree programs

Queries, Clarifications and Completed Papers to: Lewis Land, Bucknell University (lewis.land-at-bucknell-dot-edu)

Deadline: March 31, 2014

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