Posts Tagged: creative writing
Here’s what I mean by not centering the author of the workshop piece: I always tell my students, following the lead of my favorite MFA professor, that the truth is that workshop is most helpful to the person talking, not the person being workshopped.
In my father’s world, which still bore the markings of the class system he had fled seventeen years before, thinking that you were better than the life you had, which had actually allowed him to escape, was also a betrayal of one’s class.
If you win, then you talk to the other winners, congratulating and praising them. If you lose, then you read through your submission, noting mistakes that weren’t there five minutes before, wondering where you went wrong,” she adds. “You tell yourself, ‘It doesn’t really matter.
Horace Engdahl thinks that creative writing programs and the walled-off communities academic programs create are hurting western literature. Since writing courses help monetize writing—and fund writers as professionals—Engdahl worries that the courses are removing writers from the real world. Engdahl finds fault with literary criticism, too:
“We talk in the same way about everything which is published, and literary criticism is poorer for it,” he said.
Over at Electric Literature, Joseph Rositano contemplates the relationship between writing and mental health. Though he admits that creative writing has been associated with “mental abnormality” for centuries (the number of writers who committed suicide isn’t small), it’s still difficult to explain why this particular discipline—as opposed to painting or science, which also have the “‘tortured genius’ stereotype”—is so frequently associated with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder....more
Rumpus columnist and friend Steve Almond is teaching two classes at the Grotto in San Francisco on July 19th!
How to Write Riveting Scenes will investigate what it takes to keep readers on the edge of their seats, while How to Create Irresistible Narrators examines the work of Nabokov, Salinger, Austen, and others in an effort to make sure your next narrator isn’t just strong, but irresistible....more
Over at The Millions, Rumpus contributor Nick Ripatrazone looks at the many and varied paths that bring writers to the profession and considers the benefits of time spent studying subjects other than creative writing:
Although I have drifted toward the science of syntax, I think about the positives of studying content that is not literary.
The two central myths are one, that literary citizenship is all about self-promotion, and two, that it’s connected deeply to the “marketplace.”
In an interview for Ploughshares, Tasha Golden talks to “writing geek” Stephanie Vanderslice about teaching the business side of a creative writing career....more
In early December, Rumpus columnist Steve Almond will teach writing classes at the SF Grotto.
His December 7th class will focus on the idea of embracing one’s obsessions to jump-start good writing, avoiding the pitfalls of sentiment and self-absorption. On December 8th, Steve will teach a class pitching “funny” as the “new deep,” keeping in mind that “the comic impulse is inextricably linked to tragedy.”
The fee is $75 for a single course, or $135 for both....more
There are a lot of people who have very strong feelings about MFA programs, but Blake Butler’s Vice piece “What I Remember from Getting an MFA in Creative Writing,” just sort of lays out the details and holds back on the judgment (not unlike good fiction, really)....more
The ever-contentious subject of teaching creative writing is up for discussion. You can teach the elements, but there are always the “intangibles that cannot be taught.” Roxane Gay is inciting a discussion on HTMLGiant, laying some foundation for all of the student/teacher ideas into one mega-blog dialogue delineating the building blocks of creative writing....more