This is How You Do It: John Vanderslice (Part 2)

CW Programs Teaching

Part 2 of my talk with John Vanderslice, a fellow writer-teacher who is experimenting with new ways to incorporate Big Things into the creative writing classroom. (You can read Part 1 here.)

So, what did you do the third time you taught the course?

During Fall 2010, I ran the class in a radically new way. Instead of just beginning novels over the course of one semester, the students would begin and finish them. Period.

That’s definitely a challenge. I didn’t take it that far.

I set a specific word count goal for their projects–55,000–and gave them weekly word count goals as well. Every week one of the first things I did was to check their word counts–fortunately, they all had laptops or could plug a flash drive into a computer. Continue reading