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ERIC Number: EJ825170
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
One Simple Word: From Creative Writing to Creative Writing Studies
Mayers, Tim
College English, v71 n3 p217-228 Jan 2009
In this essay, the author argues that, within the current realm of higher education in the United States, creative writing and creative writing studies are two distinct enterprises-- although they do overlap at some significant points--and should be recognized as such. "Creative writing" is the academic enterprise of hiring successful writers (with success defined as publication in "approved" journals and magazines and by "approved" university and trade presses, along with the winning of prestigious literary prizes for such publication) to teach college-level creative writing courses. "Creative writing studies," on the other hand, is a still-emerging enterprise that has been set in motion by some of the problems and internal contradictions of creative writing. The author suggests that creative writing programs should transform into creative writing studies, a field of scholarly inquiry and research that would have three main strands: pedagogical, historical, and advocacy-oriented. This move would help bridge the traditional gap between literature and composition, a gap that has rarely been bridged thus far because it has been understood far too simplistically. Because creative writing studies has points of overlap with both composition studies and literary studies, while maintaining a distinctive character of its own, it may harbor the roots of an institutional and intellectual compromise in which the union between composition and literature does not involve one side winning and the other losing, but rather both enterprises being transformed so that they can meet on heretofore unimagined ground. (Contains 3 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A