By the same authors

Critical Approaches to Creative Writing: A Case Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Publication details

JournalWriting in Practice (NAWE)
DatePublished - 2015
Original languageEnglish


This article reconsiders the perceived tensions between “creative” and “critical” practices in the study of Creative Writing. The “critical-creative problem” is first defined in broader historical and cultural contexts, then in relation to contemporary critics who recognize a more specific split within Creative Writing pedagogy. By analyzing the language of creative-critical division within AHRC funding guidelines and NAWE subject benchmarks, I argue that redefining our own terms may be the most effective first step towards changing the realities of institutional structures. The second half of this article reflects on the development of a new MA module (“Critical Approaches to Creative Writing”) in order to test these ideas in practice. Hierarchies of lesson planning and degree planning are considered, along with ways the language of validated documents might affect student expectations. Finally, the specific assignment of a “manifesto” is proposed as an alternative to “reflective commentary” or “poetics”, which might help engender a more fluid interchange of creative and critical practice. The article concludes with reflections on feedback from this module’s first run.

    Research areas

  • creative writing, critical reflection, pedagogy, practice-based research, manifesto

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