Creative Writing In The Classroom

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When a frustrated classmate in my MFA program declared himself a maximalist, I chose to pity him.Students will be required to turn in multiple drafts of their original short story and wait for personal feedback from the instructor before turning in a final draft of the work.In addition, students will write ten poems and explore various types of non-fiction essays and newswriting.I absorbed the verdict as truth even though the disdain felt like snobbery: I would never tell someone they were wrong to love what they loved.It wasn’t that I wanted to please my professor—I’d already voiced my dissatisfactions with his course.Fortunately, though, with some work of their own, teachers can better develop their own abilities to teach creative writing.I open the creative writing courses I teach with this vow: “I’ve seen far too many workshops become an indoctrination into an instructor’s taste—a semester-long exhortation to love what the instructor loves and to hate what he does too—and I am going to do my best to avoid that.” The statement is meant to protect students from the shame I felt when, in the first semester of an MFA program in fiction, I listened as the director mocked a writer whose books my parents, sister, and I all loved.I wasn’t yet paying attention to the connection between the problematic constructs of “bad grammar” and “bad taste.” I was still a student of “good taste” myself.We should grab readers by the collar and never let go, I learned.Not only does it allow students to explore their imaginations, but it helps them to structure their ideas and produce writing that they can be proud of.However, creative writing is a relatively difficult type of writing to teach and offers challenges to both new and seasoned teachers alike.


Comments Creative Writing In The Classroom

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