POVs - Perspectives on Creative Writing from Outside the Field

deadline for submissions: 
September 1, 2099
full name / name of organization: 
Journal of Creative Writing Studies/Creative Writing Studies Organization
contact email: 

Submission deadline: Currently ongoing until full

Creative writing found a home in universities in the United States in the early part of the twentieth century and grew in popularity in the postwar era. Hundreds of creative writing programs now exist across the nation, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as writers earn any one of a number of degrees: BAs, BFAs, MAs, MFAs, and Ph.Ds.

The rise of creative writing in the academy has not been met with universal celebration; indeed, the presence of creative writing on campuses has been cause for consternation for some academics, not least in the English departments where many creative writing programs reside. Creative writers have often clashed with scholars in rhetoric and composition and literary studies for being hostile to theory and unwilling to analyze the efficacy of the “workshop method,” creative writing’s signature pedagogy. Creative writing as an academic field has also been charged with being insular and conservative, unwilling to examine experiments in digital writing and media, and only showing interest in the production of work intended for publication in literary magazines and in the genres of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

We want to know: To what extent does this reflect an accurate history of creative writing in the academy? Are there signs that things are changing, or are somehow different, now that creative writing in the academy is nearly a century old? With the recent push toward STEAM education (emphasizing science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) are there new roles creative writing might (or must?) play in the rapidly changing landscape of higher education? What benefits or challenges do faculty in other academic areas face when dealing with creative writing programs or faculty in institutional settings?

For this special issue of the Journal of Creative Writing Studies we are soliciting think-pieces from scholars and practitioners who identify themselves as being outside of the field of creative writing in the academy. This can be defined in many ways, whether it means writing from another discipline entirely or simply not self-identifying as being at home within the field of creative writing in higher education. Some possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Historical perspectives on the growth of creative writing in the academy

  • Creative writing’s role in the 21st-century university

  • Tensions between creative writing and other fields or disciplines

  • Interdisciplinary approaches that include a creative writing component

  • Creative writing and contemporary media: film, television, games, digital writing

  • Creative writing inside and outside of the academy

  • Benefits and/or frustrations of creative writing in the academy: past, present, future

  • Matters of hiring, tenure, promotion, and service for creative writing faculty

  • Creative writing in English departments with composition and rhetoric and/or professional writing programs

  • Successes and failures in working with creative writers in the academy

We seek a range of opinions, both critical and positive. A follow-up special issue will ask members within the creative writing community to respond to the essays selected for publication.

To submit

Send a 250-word abstract of your think-piece that covers the general premise of your position on creative writing to specialissue@creativewritingstudies.org. The editors will review submissions and will contact writers with instructions on submitting a complete manuscript. Essays should not exceed 10,000 words.

About the Journal

Journal of Creative Writing Studies is a peer reviewed, open access journal. We publish research that examines the teaching, practice, theory, and history of creative writing. This scholarship makes use of theories and methodologies from a variety of disciplines. We believe knowledge is best constructed in an open conversation among diverse voices and multiple perspectives. Therefore, our editors actively seek to include work from marginalized and underrepresented scholars. Journal of Creative Writing Studies is dedicated to the idea that humanities research ought to be accessible and available to all.

Journal of Creative Writing Studies is a publication of Creative Writing Studies Organization (CWSO), which also hosts the annual Creative Writing Studies Conference. To comment on any of our articles, please visit our facebook page and find the related post.

Questions? Send to specialissue@creativewritingstudies.org or to the JCWS General Editors James Ryan <williamj35@gmail.com>, Trent Hergenrader <wthgsl@rit.edu>, Stephanie Vanderslice <stephv@uca.edu>