Variations in Awareness: How Academics Teach Creative Writing in the First Year of University

Year: 1992

Author: Martin, Elaine

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper examines teaching and learning in two first-year university courses that incorporate the topic of 'creative writing'. The formal descriptions of the subjects, their aims and objectives, their content and teaching methods, are documented and described in similar ways. When we examine what lecturers in these subjects believe the topics to be about, and how students are helped to understand them, we see different interpretations of what creative writing is, and what it takes to learn it as an academic subject. Underpinning these different interpretations is an emphasis on one or more of three related areas of knowledge central to creative writing. Lecturers talk about the need for students to have something significant to say. Secondly, they emphasise that students need to understand the range of different ways in which practising writers have and do express themselves. Thirdly, they underscore the need for students to develop the skills and craft of the writer.