Tag Archives: teaching creative writing

This Blog is Lore: How We Talk about Teaching Creative Writing

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This blog began because I like to talk about teaching. I always have. I stepped in front of a class for the first time in 1991. I was a rookie grad student, and once I got over my stage fright, … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Most Words Drafted–Fall 2013

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Here are the winners of the Most Words Drafted competition in my novel-writing class. The whole semester of this course is archived here. First place: Liz Winks Liz wrote 64,309 words this semester. Her satirical novel is entitled The Grand … Continue reading

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Do the Math: Part 2

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Last week, I talked about “doing the math” (and by extension time management) here at The Big Thing. This powerpoint contained a slide that got my attention. I use Google Calendar to schedule meetings and appointments, but not writing time, … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching, Writing | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Teaching Tuesday: Learn their Names

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On the first day of any class I teach, I learn all their names. First, I call roll. I request that they tell me: what they prefer to be called the name and location of their hometown I learned a … Continue reading

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The Next Thing: Professionalization in Creative Writing

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Not every Creative Writing major wants to go to grad school, and to be honest, I’m not even sure if most of them want to be published writers. What brings them to our classes, I think, is a desire to be … Continue reading

Posted in CW Programs, Literary Citizenship, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

A Story about Creativity

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A long time ago, I was asked to be a part of a study about Creativity. I’m not supposed to reveal who sponsored this study, but suffice it to say it was well funded. Let’s call them the Company. The … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching, Writing | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Last Lecture: What matters more: Story or Sentence?

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Every time I teach novel writing, I end the semester with a “Last Lecture” on a topic that’s been on my mind all semester long. Last spring, I wrote about learning to self-identify as a writer; this post, “Am I … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

“I can’t do this anymore.”

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I’m having a real crisis. I’m starting to wonder if teaching a novel-writing class with 15 students can really be done. Let me explain. This semester, I taught Advanced Fiction, a 400-level course at Ball State which I teach as … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Last Lecture: “Am I a writer?”

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At the end of the semester, I give presentations in my novel-writing classes about the publishing business. Many students are seniors getting ready to graduate. Hence, they are full of anxieties. The first thing they say is: Why didn’t anyone … Continue reading

Posted in CW Programs, Teaching, The Biggest Things, Writing | Tagged , , , | 41 Comments

Novels vs. Stories in MFA Programs Survey Results

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My plan was to release the survey results one question at a time via ruminative blog posts like this one on whether MFA programs are “anti-novel” or not and this one on the “professionalization” question. But I’ve changed my mind. Many people … Continue reading

Posted in CW Programs, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments