Rethinking Creative Writing by Stephanie Vanderslice

Title: Rethinking Creative Writing in Higher Education

Sub-title: Programs and Practices that Work 

Author: Stephanie Vanderslice

9781907076107‘This is a brave, serious, passionate and entertaining book’ –  Dr Steve May, Head of Department, Creative Writing, Bath Spa University and author of Doing Creative Writing.


In this passionate, iconoclastic, survey of Creative Writing as an academic discipline, Stephanie Vanderslice provides a provocative critique of existing practice. She challenges enduring myths surrounding creative writing – not least, that writers learn most from workshops. Through case studies of best practice from America and elsewhere, Vanderslice provides a vision of change, showing how undergraduate and postgraduate programs can be reformed to re-engage with contemporary culture.

“[An] excellent resource for ideas, for inspiration, and for sources on aspects of pedagogy for creative writing programs” – Kevin Brophy, Text: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses (Vol. 16, No. 1).

“This thoroughly researched, beautifully written, and altogether important book” – Erika Dreifus, Practicing Writing blog (

To acquire a copy: please see our How to Buy page or use the following links or for the paperback.

Bibliographic information

Formats and ISBNs:

  • ePub edition (2011): 978-1-907076-10-7
  •  PDF edition (2011):  978-1-907076-18-3
  • Hardback (2011): 978-1-907076-13-8
  • Softback (2012): 978-1-907076-31-2

Genre: monograph


  • BISAC subject heading: LAN005000
  • BIC subject category: CBV
  • Dewey no.: 808

Extent: 152 pp.

Imprint: Creative Writing Studies

Publisher: The Professional and Higher Partnership Ltd

Place of publication: Wicken, Cambridgeshire, UK

Downloadable information on this title is available here: Rethinking creative writing.


Foreword by Dr Steve May

Chapter One: Creative Writing in Higher Education: Reflection, Innovation, Accountability / Notes from the Field: Storming the Garret

Chapter Two: Undergraduate Creative Writing Programs / Notes from the Field:  Grasping Ariadne’s Thread: Wendy Bishop’s Stories and My Own

Chapter Three: Graduate Creative Writing Programs: Creative Writing Comes of Age / Notes from the Field:  Once More to the Workshop: A Myth Caught in Time

Chapter Four: Workshopping the Workshop / Notes from the Field: A Place to Start

Chapter Five: Creative Writing Programs in the World

Afterword: Looking Inward and Outward



Creative writing as a discipline is a victim of its own success. The discipline needs now to demythogize and revitalize itself. Undergraduate and graduate programs need to be further differentiated. Programs over-reliant on the traditional creative writing workshop, with its focus on craft and on building community, are ill equipped to prepare students for the new realities of the creative economy. Programs need not only to improve the workshop experience of students, but also employ a more diverse, outward-looking, outcomes-oriented pedagogy and to make a more direct contribution to the development of a literate society. Much can be learnt from good practice – including distinctive and visionary programs – developed on both sides of the Atlantic and in Australia.

Key terms: creative writing; literacy; pedagogy;  programs; reflective; reform; teaching; visionary; workshop.


To order directly and securely from our distributor, Central Books, click here.



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