Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Easy for Who?: Creative Writing Teachers Respond to Criticism of the Workshop


Writing Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Arts and Humanities


Recent creative writing pedagogy has attacked the traditional workshop model of teaching that most instructors use in their classrooms. Established in 1931 as a way to teach graduate students, the model is faulted for failing to meet the needs of beginning writers. Some critics contend that the model functions more as a convenience for the instructor who does not wish to prepare for classes or plan lectures than as a service to students. Texts such as Tom Hunley's Five-Canon Approach question the efficacy of the model under which most current professors of creative writing have themselves studied. As teachers who have at times struggled with the quality of work produced in our workshops, or wondered if our students are gaining anything from them, we aim to respond to these criticisms. At the annual AWP conference in 2014, our panel will discuss how the workshop can be adapted to serve student writers in all genres and at all levels, from the Easy A seeker to the earnest and zealous. We plan to share concerns, methods, and successful practices for teaching creative writing.

Conference Name

2014 Annual Meeting of the Association of Writing Programs

Conference Location


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