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Can Creative Writing Be Taught?

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Who says creative writing can’t be taught directly?

When they ask me if they can teach creative writing, I say that I still have no idea. Now I believe that creative writing can be taught, but only by published writers.

Yes, young aspiring writers can be taught the elements of the craft through reading and exercises that will give them basic ingredients like showing instead of telling, building a character, assimilating a point of view, writing lean dialogue, etc.

Besides, there are things in writing that need to be taught. All of these things can be taught, and it is very important to learn them if you want to write well. To be honest, there are people who are born with certain writing skills that cannot be taught, just as there are people who are born with a perfect tone that cannot always be taught.

And if you haven’t learned to work hard, I would say that you haven’t learned the most important aspect of writing. It’s difficult, frustrating and demoralizing, and makes you think that in all the years of writing, you never really learned anything. The art of writing is something you can learn on your own, but it’s a hard and lonely lesson if you’re alone.

Video – Can creative writing be taught panel discussion

Is it possible to teach creative writing at all?

How can I learn creative writing?

I taught to write poetry, write fiction, non-fiction, write travel notes, write cover letters, and write book suggestions. Like most, and perhaps all, writers, I have learned to write by writing and, for example, reading books. I often think that learning to write by reading is similar to how I started reading.

I learned more about how to write by reading and analyzing literature lessons. In written workshops, where all too often well-known teachers have passively allowed an intimidating atmosphere to be created, I learned not to teach.

Since then, in the 1970s creative writing workshops I have given over the years, I have learned that while good writing cannot be taught, it can be persuaded.

As an instructor, I find that if I describe the problem well, propose solutions, and then give the writer an exercise, they can almost always learn new writing skills fairly easily.

Can writing skills be taught?

In fact, I have found that I can help most people learn to write at a publishing level, and in many cases I can take them to the point where they write at an award-winning level. I don’t think you need a master’s degree to be called a writer.

The next taxi, or the next time I’m in the smoking area looking for a lighter, when a stranger asks me what I’m doing, I’ll tell them I just got my Master’s degree in writing, and based on that, I’ll teach creative writing.

Fortunately, this is changing wherever writing is taught, especially in non-college writing programs like Grub Street in Boston where I teach. You don’t need a lesson to start writing, but learning trading tools is never a waste of time.

Can we teach creative writing?

While creative writing lessons cannot turn someone into a writer, if you have the skills and are willing to work hard, lessons can help you improve your skills faster. You can hire someone with a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in creative writing to teach a college course with very limited publishing experience.

They can write—good enough to publish as they want, and even win awards—but they don’t know how to explain the process well to pass on their skills to others. I know why some writers who teach may find it difficult to meet new talents who may be challenging.

The best advice I can give is to read more, read what you want to write, and learn books that can produce something in you. You can read all books about writing, but sometimes the more you read, the less you understand.

Can we learn creative writing?
How can we teach creative writing?

What is the best way to teach creative writing?

I find reading about writing one of the easiest ways to overcome your writer’s anxiety. When I sit at my desk, I see at least twenty books on writing on the shelves. I have read them all once, and the wisdom contained in their pages, in my most hopeful dreams, creeps into me, so that these aspects of trading are inherent in me, written in my bones (another great book, The Writing of Bones by Natalie Goldberg).

And while I was mixing these wonderful, convoluted sentences, I discovered how reading a masterpiece can make me want to write it.

Anyone can take a book and read it, analyze how it was written. Look at some of the writing on the back of published books before convincing them to write their own. They may learn that the first few lines, the first paragraphs, and the first pages of their work are the keys to winning your reader’s heart.

Make them great: memorable, full of anticipation, and full of excitement. There are no fixed rules, but writing exercises can help students become more sensitive to the effects of different techniques.

How do you teach students creative writing?

Publishers and agents spend a lot of time reading and evaluating work and will likely tell you that material from well-known creative writing courses is likely to move to the top or top of the stack because it has already been reviewed and assessed.

In addition, creative writing lacks a quantifiable amount of information, its results are difficult to objectively measure, it requires too much chatting and sitting in bars and cafes, and in any case, real artists – born artists – are people whose genius cannot be bribed. to. instruction.

What qualifications do you need to teach writing?

I believe the job of a writing teacher (and editor) is to take what students start and transform it into the best thing possible.

Or I can show them the tapes of the symposium and they can make a decision, because these are big questions that every student and every writing teacher will answer in a completely different way. It’s not the rationality of the question that confuses me, but the fact that it is addressed to me and is being asked by a writer who has taught me to write intermittently for almost twenty years.

This is a question that strikes alarm in the hearts of all writers who make a living teaching writing, and doubt in the wallets of all MFA students who spend fortunes on their writing degrees.

Do you need a degree to teach creative writing?

I will let John Bart, who taught writing seminars with Johns Hopkins for twenty-two years, answer this question, because he answered it in the simplest and most decisive way.

Meanwhile, John Kenny, who teaches at NUIG’s Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, described teaching writing as a way to encourage his students to see the world from a different perspective. It is not about teaching students to avoid mistakes or bad writing; Figuring out what a dead end looks like is an important part of the process.


Resources relating to teaching writing:

Can Creative Writing Be Taught? Therapy For The Disaffected

Can creative writing be taught? – The Darling Axe

Can creative writing be taught? – BookBrunch

Can Creative Writing Be Taught? – JSTOR