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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Can Creative Writing be taught?

It has long been a question between writers and academics, Can Creative Writing be taught? To throw in my tuppence worth, I believe experienced writers can share their techniques and their learning from their journey so far with students, thereby cutting the gestation period to fruition of any writing talent a student may have. Even if there is no latent talent there, a full creative writing course will help any student read with more comprehension and perception. That's worth all the effort a good CW course will ask of a student.

This question has been around for a long time and has been tackled by many insiders and outsiders of university Creative Writing programs - so I point you towards this New Yorker article http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2009/06/08/090608crat_atlarge_menand?currentPage=all

An anecdote: Once, as president of an august writing body, I addressed a group of novice writers in an out of town writing group. They listened very politely to my motivational speech about giving your all to writing - putting creative writing before all else, including making money, personal relationships, supporting family, etc. Afterwards, over tea and cake, a mature gentleman came up beside me and said, "We're just a suburban tennis club, you know - We're not bloody Wimbledon!" That night, I learnt a lot!

1 comment:

genevieve said...

That anecdote is priceless, Andrew.
I enjoy whatever Menand has to say even if I am in two minds about it, largely because he is an erudite person who can express himself clearly for the benefit of the great unwashed. It is such a pleasure to read his beautifully written articles.