We are in the process of commissioning a book to be entitled Studying Creative Writing. At the start of the process we contacted numerous centres in higher education to discover what is required and, as a result, made a number of campus visits. (We have also benefited from peer review of the proposal.) Following these discussions we formulated a strategy for the book as follows:
1. The book needs to be a problem-solving book. It needs to solve problems for students by, for example, outlining common pitfalls and explaining how to avoid them. And it needs to help solve problems for teaching staff by providing a supporting resource for teaching difficult areas of the course.
2. The problems the book needs to solve are general ones, rather than genre-specific. For example, the process of revising one’s own writing is often a problematic area – students need to appreciate the value of revising and feel confident they have effective ways of doing it. We intend, therefore, to include material on how and why to revise.
3. In contrast, we don’t propose to include material on how to write in specific genres – for example, how to write science fiction. We figure it would not be feasible to cover a range of genres within the covers of one book and that there are plenty of resources in these areas in any case – and the list is growing with the publication of Arvon’s enterprising series with A&C Black under the Methuen imprint.
Naturally, we ‘d welcome feedback. Have we got the strategy right? What would you want such a book to include? Do please share your views. To contact us direct, please see the About us page. To share comments with others, please use the ‘Leave a comment’ function below.