How The Hell Do We Teach Creative Writing?

Posted by @ 6:15 pm on September 4th, 2011

I taught a fiction workshop over the summer, I’m currently teaching an introductory fiction class this semester and next semester I will be teaching a graduate workshop. Teaching fiction has been fantastic and by far the most professionally satisfying experience I’ve ever had. I normally teach professional and technical communication so recently┬áI’ve been consumed by the question, “How the hell do we teach creative writing?” It’s so hard to know how to do all of this right.

A great many writers succeed without having ever taken a writing class and there are intangibles that cannot be taught but I am still interested in what we can do where creative writing pedagogy is concerned. How do we best reach and help students in the creative writing classroom? How do we teach students about the elements of creative writing and then how do we teach them to experiment with these elements? I want to assemble a series of guest posts on this subject so I am opening the discussion here because many of us are either teachers or students of creative writing or once were students of creative writing. Anything is possible. I would love to see reflections on what works, what doesn’t work, great classroom experiences or those that were not so great, how to teach creative writing and the introductory, intermediate, advanced, and graduate levels, reading lists with explanations why those texts are being used, instruction on the professional aspects of being a writer, teaching different forms, poetics, and more.

If you’d be interested in writing a guest post, from either the teacher or student perspective, about some aspect of creative writing pedagogy, please get in touch (roxane at so we can talk more.