Call for Proposals - Creative Writing Studies Research Methods Collection

deadline for submissions: 
May 16, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Ben Ristow (Hobart & William Smith Colleges) & Dr. Jon Udelson (Shenandoah University)
contact email: 




Innovations in Creative Writing Studies Research: Methods, Methodologies, Practices (working title)



Ben Ristow, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Jon Udelson, Shenandoah University


Creative Writing Studies is no longer an emerging field of inquiry; it has arrived–or better said–it has become a field of its own merit with international scope and growing intellectual diversity and artistic sensibility. It is no longer a subfield or a newly-imagined space for creative writers to speculate about disciplinary or institutional histories, pedagogical approaches to workshop, or the design of MFA/PhD programs. While the last three decades have seen the emergence of a critical foundation of scholarship from, among others, Wendy Bishop, Kate Haake, Tim Mayers, D.G. Myers, Pat Bizzaro, Stephanie Vanderslice, Graeme Harper, Jeri Kroll, Dianne Donnelly, Trent Hergenrader, Janelle Adsit, and recently, Felicia Rose Chavez, current Creative Writing Studies scholars are now faced with a new task. In order to open up new avenues of scholarly inquiry, researchers in this field must not only consider how existing methods and methodologies may inform the future of Creative Writing Studies work, but also imagine points of methodological departure that make Creative Writing Studies distinct from its kindred disciplines in rhetoric and composition and literature. To that end, this edited collection draws the question of methodologies to the center of our discussion of disciplinarity, and in doing so, considers new and innovative ways that contemporary research in Creative Writing Studies may be conducted practically, rigorously, and ethically as the field continues to determine its disciplinary values.

As such, Innovations in Creative Writing Studies Research (“ICWSR”) contends that as the field of Creative Writing Studies continues to shape its disciplinary identity within the larger discipline of Writing Studies, so too must we continue to theorize new methods and methodologies for examining creative writing as action, artifact, and socio-material phenomenon. Building off the pioneering work of scholars who highlighted the importance of practice-based research during an earlier era of the field’s history (Dean & Smith; Harper & Kroll; Berg & May, among others), this collection takes up Gilbert & Macleroy’s (2020) call to further imagine how methods-based research, drawn largely from the traditions of Writing Studies, may generatively shift our orientations to the work of the field. In moving toward more Writing Studies-based methodologies, ICWSR argues that it is in theorizing, practicing, and reflecting on these methodologies inflected through the act of creative writing that we may discover new ways of regarding creative writing and producing new insights into the field of Creative Writing Studies.

Central to ICWSR’s project are the questions of how Creative Writing Studies has drawn qualitative/quantitative methods through their relationship with Composition Studies, and how a broader and more diverse ecology of methods from different disciplines more precisely serve the values of creative writing. To draw the line of thinking further, how does the field differentiate and borrow its methods from other fields in the arts and sciences, such as craft studies, performance studies, architecture and design, or even, environmental studies, physics, and/or neuroscience? Additionally, ICWSR asks contributors to examine how new research methods (either ones contributors used in and/or invented for previously-conducted studies or newly theorized ones) render new perspectives on what creative writing is and how it can serve an equitable and diverse collective of writers. This collection builds an ecology of methods rather than a formula, a living network of ways of seeing and feeling one’s way through the field for new and established Creative Writing Studies scholars.

Please send 250-word proposals, with subject line “CWS Research Methods Collection Proposal - [YOUR LAST NAME],” to Ben Ristow ( and Jon Udelson ( by May 16th, 2022. We will review and respond to submissions in June and July 2022. Refer to the tentative timeline below for further details.

Proposals will be reviewed in mind of the heuristics for anti-racist scholarly reviewing practices. The editors of this collection would like potential contributors to know that we are in talks with publishers, but no contract has been finalized.

If you have questions, please feel free to email Ben Ristow and/or Jon Udelson at the email addresses stated above.


Possible Topics/Framing Questions/Research Threads:

As we seek to forge connections between Creative Writing Studies and research methodologies, we might consider the following as lenses or frames by and through which to venture into this exploratory gambit. These topics and questions are meant to serve as starting-off points that can, and most likely will, lead you elsewhere. They are not intended in any way to limit your inquiries.

  • How may present/future methods-based approaches in Creative Writing Studies help (re)set the foundation for the field’s current and future topics of investigation?

  • How might the continued theorization of intersectional and/or representational methodologies revolutionize and restructure the current disciplinary “space” and “composition” of Creative Writing Studies?

  • How might we challenge Western-centric approaches to Creative Writing Studies research methodologies?

  • How might we challenge the antagonistic models by which so much scholarship in Creative Writing Studies has been produced? (We antagonize craft, we antagonize the workshop. What else might we or can we do?)

  • What are the units of analysis of qualitative/quantitative inquiry in Creative Writing Studies?

  • What are the sites and artifacts of qualitative/quantitative investigation in Creative Writing Studies?

  • What “traditional” practices in methods-based research might we reimagine and repurpose for research in Creative Writing Studies?

  • In what ways does the phenomenon of creative writing lend itself to wholly new or radical methods and methodologies? What new knowledge(s) might those new approaches yield?

  • What new ethical concerns or sets of problematics come along with qualitative/quantitative investigations into creative writing or creative writers?

  • How do or how can knowledges of craft (as understood within the discourse of creative writing) intersect with knowledges across other fields of Writing Studies? What are its trans- or interdisciplinary potentials?

  • How do insights gained from qualitative/quantitative approaches into creative writing challenge or evolve what scholarship on creative writing has historically suggested?

  • What might experimental methodologies look like within the context of Creative Writing Studies?


Submission and Publication Schedule:

Monday, May 16th: 250-word abstract + works referenced due

Monday, June 20th - July 18th: Abstract responses sent to contributors

Monday, November 7th: First draft of chapters due

Monday, January 9th, 2023: Editorial comments from editors to contributors

Monday, March 13th: Revised draft of chapters due

Monday, May 8th: Reviewer feedback to contributors

Monday, June 12th: Contributors’ final manuscript copies due

Monday, August 14th: Projected date chapter proofs sent to contributors

Monday, September 18th: Projected date proof revisions due from contributors

Monday, December 4th: Projected date edited collection published