Does the Writing Workshop Still Work?

Edited by: Dianne Donnelly

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Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
210mm x 148mm

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This book explores the effectiveness of the workshop in the Creative Writing classroom, and looks beyond the question of whether or not the workshop works to address the issue of what an altered pedagogical model might look like. In visualising what else is possible in the workshop space, the sixteen chapters collected in 'Does the Writing Workshop Still Work?' cover a range of theoretical and pedagogical topics and explore the inner workings and conflicts of the workshop model. The needs of a growing and diverse student population are central to the chapter authors' consideration of non-normative pedagogies. The book is a must-read for all teachers of Creative Writing, as well as for researchers in Creative Writing Studies.

A remarkable new collection of essays about the theory, practice, design, and reinvention of peer-review components in writing-courses. The expertise and range of experience represented by the contributors is astonishing. This is a bountiful offering indeed.

By exploring the workshop from within as well as without, and by challenging the notion that such a staid enterprise as the workshop cannot be reified for emerging writers and teachers, this collection bravely takes its place among its clear predecessors - namely Moxley's Creative Writing in America and Bishop and Ostrom's Colors of a Different Horse - in refusing to quietly accept the simple notions that writing instruction is an organic enterprise, and that writers are (or should be) meekly acculturated to the practices and values of the writing workshop as 'fine, I [guess],' to paraphrase one of the many astute contributors here.

This collection offers writing practitioners new and insightful approaches to their teaching and is an important and timely resource with which to reflect on course development, teaching and evaluation.

Does the Writing Workshop Still Work? is alert to the newest media in the creative arts, while offering a defense and investigation of the best practices of the creative writing workshop. A valuable resource to all teachers who view creative writing pedagogy as an academic discipline and humanistic exploration.

Does the Writing Workshop Still Work? (Multilingual Matters, 2010), edited by Dianne Donnelly, provides a foundation into creative writing studies in addition to new conceptions of what the workshop is and what it could be with revisions…Does the Writing Workshop Still Work? offers an important and timely contribution to the discipline because—in addition to reiterating the censure of instructors who do not turn a critical eye onto their pedagogies, professionalization, and workshop methodologies—the collection complicates issues by asking readers to consider the workshop as an event, an artistic act, and a human activity.

Fiction Writers Review

The essays in Does the Writing Workshop Still Work? demonstrate a range of approaches, questions, experiences, contexts, analyses, frustrations and enthusiasm, from teachers of university creative writing who are clearly passionate about their teaching and committed to their students. Many variations of the workshop are presented here: the inclusion of literary readings; hands-on writing exercises in class; informing one's teaching with various theoretical perspectives; taking into account students' diversity and cultural and gender differences; ethics; issues of power and autonomy.

TEXT, Vol 16, No 2, October 2012

Dianne Donnelly is the recipient of multiple teaching, scholarship, and writing awards and has published articles and short stories in a number of venues. She is also a frequent presenter at conferences on the subject of creative writing theory and pedagogy and the emergence of creative writing studies. She holds a PhD in English and teaches creative writing at the University of South Florida and Eckerd College.

Foreword - Graeme Harper

Introduction: 'If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix it,' Or 'Change is Inevitable—Except from a Vending Machine.' - Dianne Donnelly

Section One: Inside the Writing Workshop Model

1. Once More to the Workshop: A Myth Caught in Time - Stephanie Vanderslice

2. Workshop: An Ontological Study - Patrick Bizzaro

3. Small Worlds: What Works in the Workshop if and When They Do - Philip Gross

4. Teaching as a Creative Act: Why the Workshop Works in Creative Writin - Anna Leahy

5. Workshopping and Fiction: Laboratory, Factory, or Finishing School? - Willy Maley

Section Two: Engaging the Conflicts

6. Poetry, F(r)iction, Drama: The Complex Dynamics of Audience in the Writing Workshop - Tim Mayers

7. Engaging the Individual/Social Conflict within Creative Writing Workshops - Brent Royster

8. Potentially dangerous: vulnerabilities and risks in the writing workshop - Gaylene Perry

9. Its fine, I gess': Problems with Peer Review and What These Indicate about the Status of the Workshop Model in College Composition Courses - Colin Irvine

Section Three: The Non-Normative Workshop

10. The Writing Workshop in the Two-Year College: Who Cares? - David Starkey

11. Workshopping Lives - Mary Ellen Bertolini

12. The Things I Used to Do: Workshops Old and New - Keith Kumasen Abbott Section Four: New Models for Relocating the Workshop

13. Re-envisioning the Workshop: Hybrid Classrooms, Hybrid Texts - Katharine Haake

14. Introducing Masterclasses - Sue Roe

15. Wrestling Bartleby: Another Workshop Model for the Creative Writing Classroom - Leslie Wilson

16. 'A Space of Radical Openness': Re-visioning the Creative Writing Workshop - Mary Ann Cain

Afterword: Disciplinarity and the Future of Creative Writing Studies - Joseph Moxley

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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