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You are here: Home > Writing in Education > Writing at University > Writing in Practice > Previous Issues > Vol. 3 > Rethinking Genre: Genre as a tool for writers throughout the writing process
Rethinking Genre: Genre as a tool for writers throughout the writing process
Author: Raelke Grimmer
Raelke Grimmer discusses the “shifting boundaries” of genres, for readers and writers. Using linguistics theories, she consider issues such as purpose (for authors) and audience, and the constraints and merits of genre categorization.


Genre is used and defined in different ways depending on different social and cultural contexts. For writers, genre is often thought of as a system of labelling works designed to help publishers, booksellers and readers, rather than as a helpful construct to assist during the writing process. Yet by drawing on a sociolinguistic and applied linguistic application of genre, the importance of considering genre and using genre as a tool during the writing process becomes clear. Different genres are applicable in different social contexts and considering genre when writing enables writers to communicate their ideas in the clearest possible way. The boundaries of genres are constantly renegotiated in social interaction between writers and readers through texts, shifting to reflect changing social contexts. Through the decision to conform to or subvert genre conventions in their writing, writers contribute to these changing genre boundaries.


Keywords: creative writing, genre, writing process, writing tools, linguistics



Categorizing works by genre can be controversial in literature (Chandler 2000; Gaiman & Ishiguro 2015; Kim 2016; Wilkins 2005). Attaching labels to literary works is at times considered to be “pigeon-holing” works into set categories and thus undermining the complexity of the work or judging the work according to guidelines that do not accurately fit the text (Westwood 2011). Additionally, genre categorization is seen as a marketing tool for publishers to help sell books (Gaiman & Ishiguro 2015; Kim 2016). Yet genre is a term which is also applied and used in other fields, in particular in linguistics. While a literary view of genre places less importance on the role of genre for writers, a sociolinguistic and applied linguistic application of genre focuses on the role of genre during the writing process, as different genres are applicable in different social contexts and genre affects aspects such as the tone and choice of language within a piece of writing (Halliday 1978; Halliday & Hasan 1985; Feez 1998; Whitney et al. 2011). Genre is not only a labelling system designed for readers, but an important part of text creation for writers. Literature and linguistics are two fields of study for which genre is important, but each field defines and applies the term in different ways (Crystal 2009; Murfin & Ray 2009). By combining the use of the term across both disciplines, genre becomes more than a system for categorizing writing and becomes a key part of the writing process.

Genre conventions are in constant negotiation and renegotiation between writers and readers through texts, and these conventions change in response to changing social contexts (Halliday 1978). These changes emerge based on negotiations between a writer’s intent and reader expectation (Halliday 1978). Genre conventions are not prescriptive; rather, genres are fluid (Wilkins 2005). Classifying literary works into genres according to stylistic and content conventions ensures that readers have an idea of what to expect from specific genres before they start to read. Readers’ knowledge of particular genres guides them towards particular books. If choosing to read a work classified as a memoir, a reader would expect to read about the writer’s life from the writer’s perspective. While Chandler (2000) suggests that classifying works in such a way leads to passive rather than active readers, reader expectation is important and writers should not ignore the role of the reader in text creation. Thinking about genre during the writing process is one way writers can consider reader expectation.

Writer and editor Dinah Lenney explains the importance of reader expectation in regards to the number of books published over the last few years which were marketed as autobiographical yet were later revealed to be fiction:

People have been writing autobiographical fiction for just about ever – and blurring genre boundaries, too. But if you don’t clue us in, if we find out after the fact, it’s a one-sided game, isn’t it? In which case, you’re all alone on the seesaw. Does that sound like fun? Does that sound like art? If so, okay –  but whoever you are, you’re not writing nonfiction. Because a nonfiction writer doesn’t want her reader up in the air! She doesn’t want him to wonder or doubt. She has an obligation. Her job –  that is my job –  is actually different from the job of a fiction writer. And I want my reader to believe he can count on me to revel in its challenges and rewards. (Lenney 2013)

An example is James Frey’s 2003 book, A Million Little Pieces, which was originally marketed as a memoir (Borst 2010). The book tells the story of a drug and alcohol addict in his mid-twenties and follows his journey as he goes through a rehabilitation programme. Subsequently, in 2005, the book was chosen as a selection for Oprah Winfrey’s book club, which catapulted the title to number one on the New York Times bestseller list (Borst 2010). However, sections of the memoir were found to have exaggerated and stretched the truthfulness of Frey’s life (The Smoking Gun 2006), which resulted in controversy surrounding the book. Frey claimed that, despite the fabrications, the book told the “essence” of his story (CNN 2006). Even so, many readers felt cheated by the way in which Frey changed details of his life. Frey essentially broke a social contract with his readers by claiming the book was true when in actual fact it was largely fictionalized. It was not merely a case of Frey pushing genre boundaries but of readers feeling as though they had been lied to. This is despite the fact Frey maintains that he was open and honest about the exaggerations and fabrications in the book throughout the publicity process (CNN 2006). Still, by publishing the book as a memoir despite the amount of fabrication, Frey failed to “clue [his readers] in” (to use Lenney’s phrase) (Lenney 2013) and therefore did not let them in on the joke. Writers can cross genre boundaries, but only once a writer is aware of the expectations of the genre. The reader is then aware of the rules before the writer breaks them, and is in on the joke. The reader can thus better understand what the author is trying to do and appreciate the creativity and complexity within such texts.

In this very journal, writers have a decision to make regarding genre before putting pen to paper: is an academic paper or a piece of creative writing a more suitable form for my research? Additionally, the very fact that the journal accepts creative writing as scholarly work when essential to an article challenges traditional thinking about what constitutes research output (Strange et al. 2016). Furthermore, whenever writers choose to submit their writing to literary journals, they ideally would first familiarize themselves with the kind of writing published by the journal to ensure their work is suitable for the publication, at both the level of genre (short story, poem, review) and sub-genre (fantasy, romance, science fiction). This paper will explore how genre conventions are negotiated between writers and readers through texts, and examine how writers can use genre as a tool during the writing process to assist in text construction.


Defining Genre

Heather Dubrow (1982) and Daniel Chandler (2000) discuss the difficulties in finding a universally agreed upon definition of genre, given that the term is applied differently in different contexts and is dependent upon both cultural and social (and marketing) factors. Chandler quotes film theorist Robert Stam:

A number of perennial doubts plague genre theory. Are genres really ‘out there’ in the world, or are they merely the constructions of analysts? Is there a finite taxonomy of genres or are they in principle infinite? Are genres timeless Platonic essences, or ephemeral, time-bound entities? Are genres culture-bound or transcultural?... Should genre analysis be descriptive or proscriptive? (Stam 2000 cited in Chandler 2000: 1)

Genre is defined and used differently in different contexts and disciplines and there are still areas of contention in discussions of genre theory. Despite this, according to Ross Murfin and Supriya M. Ray (2009: 202), a literary definition of genre sees the term as “the classification of literary works on the basis of their content, form, or technique”. This definition suggests that, in a literary sense, genre categorization is seen to occur after the writing process, rather than being an important consideration during text creation. The definition also acknowledges that many critics have criticized “the underlying idea that literary works can be classified according to set, specific categories”, yet contemporary thinking on the topic takes the view that genre is a “set of similarities shared by some (but by no means all) works which are classified together” (Murfin & Ray 2009: 203). This perspective places importance upon the role of the publisher and the reader in constructing genre, and the ways in which the reader’s interaction with a text is influenced by the genre categorization of that text. It suggests that genre is fluid, rather than prescriptive (Wilkins 2005). The focus of this fluidity is on the ways in which readers renegotiate their expectations of genres based on their reading experiences, thus shifting the boundaries of genres, with little attention given to the role genre plays in the writing process for writers (Chandler 2000; Wilkins 2005; Westwood 2011).

Novelist Kim Wilkins (2005) explores the idea of the fluidity of genre in relation to her 2004 novel, Giants of the Frost. Wilkins explores how her own intentions, along with how readers reacted to her novel and the influence of booksellers, publishers and tertiary institutions, caused her novel to be categorized differently according to the different social contexts. For example, Wilkins’ different publishers each represented different elements from the novel on the front covers to reflect the different publishing contexts: her Australian publisher highlighted the fantasy and historical aspects of the book, her UK publisher historical fiction, and her US publisher romance fiction. Furthermore, different reviewers situated Giants of the Frost within many different genres, such as fantasy, dark romance and horror (Wilkins 2005).

Genre is more complex than a labelling system and marketing tool for works of literature. Genres emerge based on influences from wider society and on communicative need. A study by three researchers with experience in teaching high school English highlights this point. Whitney et al. (2011: 525) identified that high school students have little understanding of how writing is relevant outside of the assignments they write for their teachers. The aim of their research was to use genre as a way of teaching students about writing to deepen their understanding and awareness of form and structure and how genre is constructed by social functions. They write that:

…over time, people in recurring social situations develop consensual, conventional ways of understanding and responding. These genres are not only forms for action within situations, but they also shape the situations themselves and constrain, in helpful ways, the meanings one might make therein. Thus, genres are not fixed structures that some great arbiter of writing and its forms has decreed long ago from on high, much as it might seem that way to student writers. Instead, genres are living traditions—temporary, flexible agreements about how to get communicative jobs done. (Whitney et al. 2011: 526)

Genre conventions are fluid and these conventions change over time to accommodate different social contexts and ways of communication.

While linguistics also sees genre as “an identifiable category of literary composition” (Crystal 2009:210) and acknowledges the fluidity of genre, the discipline also emphasizes the importance of being familiar with genre conventions in text creation:

…a genre imposes several identifiable characteristics on a use of language, notably in relation to subject-matter, purpose (e.g. narrative, allegory, satire), textual structure, form of argumentation and level of formality. (Crystal 2009:210)

Linguist Michael Halliday further argues that a writer needs to understand the purpose behind their creation, because that purpose will dictate appropriate language choice, register and structure of the work (Halliday 1978). Literary studies focuses on the role of the reader in genre categorization, while a sociolinguistic and applied linguistic perspective places as much importance on the role of genre as a tool for the writer as it does on the role of the reader in constructing genre conventions (Halliday 1978; Halliday & Hasan 1985; Feez 1998). Halliday writes that “the form a text has as a property of its genre… defines for it a certain generic structure, which determines such things as its length [and] the types of participants” (Halliday 1978: 133-134). Halliday gives the example of a text entitled Fables of our time. Some aspects of the generic structure of fables includes featuring animals as characters and a clear moral at the end of the story. The genre dictates particular features of the text.

Halliday further writes that “the essential feature of text, therefore, is that it is interaction. The exchange of meanings is an interactive process, and text is the meaning of exchange” (Halliday 1978: 139- 140). All texts are created to communicate meaning and take part in an interaction, whether that be between a speaker and listener or a writer and reader. The way in which the meaning is communicated is as important as the way in which the listener or the reader receives that communication. Therefore, a linguistic application of genre sees genre as an essential aspect of the writing process. This is a perspective shared by the field of literary stylistics. Jeremy Scott (2014: 95) discusses stylistics and creative writing, beginning his discussion with the statement: “To write is to be a linguist.” Scott goes on to say that “combining stylistics and creative writing provides opportunities to explore how you can write, how to avoid certain common pitfalls of the beginning writer and, at the very least, to consider in-depth the question posed by Toolan… why these words, and not others?” (96)


Genre as a Tool for Writers

In recent years, genre has been considered more broadly in terms of the social contexts in which different genres apply (Bawarshi 2000; Chandler 2000; Halliday 1978; Johns et al. 2006). Genre as it is traditionally used in literature has been influenced by groundwork in applied linguistics developed by MAK Halliday through the 1970s and 1980s (Halliday 1978; Halliday & Hasan 1985). Halliday proposed a system, Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), for considering different text types within their social context in order to analyze why particular texts are structured in particular ways and how the social context affects the language used in those texts (Halliday 1978; Halliday & Hasan 1985). Thus, particular generic structures are common to texts created to function within a specific social context.  For example, the purpose of academic writing is to engage with other scholars in the field and for the writer to communicate their own original research and ideas. Therefore, academics should choose discipline-specific technical language, a formal tone and a set structure to compose such a text. If an academic then wished to write about their research in a media outlet for a non-expert, general readership, the choice of language and structure would be different because the purpose and the social context has changed (Rothman 2014). Halliday’s work saw genre start to be applied more broadly, from literature works to any type of text, including essays, obituaries, speeches and reports. This led to a shift away from focusing on the form of genre to focusing on the social function of genre. This perspective indicates that, in order for a writer to write, the writer needs to know the purpose of their work so that they choose appropriate linguistic and stylistic conventions in order to communicate their message in the clearest possible way (Halliday 1978; Halliday & Hasan 1985).

Purpose dictates genre, and thus the choice of language and form. In the context of Writing in Practice, a clear genre choice is presented to every writer who chooses to submit to the journal: an academic paper or a piece of creative writing? Either of these choices is considered to be scholarly; however, the form and function of each option each provides a very different way of presenting academic research. Consequently, it is important for writers to be aware of the conventions of the genre or genres they wish to write in, so the writer can make appropriate language choices for the social context of the genre and clearly communicate the purpose of the writing.

Anis Bawarshi (2000) explores this evolution of genre and writes about the differences and intersections between a literary application of genre and a linguistic application of genre. He emphasizes the fact that much of the work in the repositioning of genre has occurred outside of literary studies (predominately in the fields of linguistics, education and sociology).  Within literary studies, genre has mostly “occupied a subservient role to its users and their (con)texts, at best used as a classificatory device… at worst censured as formulaic writing” (Bawarshi 2000: 336). To some extent, this thinking is still prevalent in literary studies (Gaiman & Ishiguro 2015; Kim 2016; Westwood 2011), although attitudes are changing (Wilkins 2005). In a later article, Bawarshi (2001: 70) goes on to explore the role of genre in the writing process through the lens of “ecocomposition”. Bawarshi (ibid.) further writes that “we create our contexts as we create our texts”, suggesting the importance of genre for a writer during the writing process. By considering genre in this way, genres become a tool with which writers can construct their texts, rather than merely prescriptive guidelines used by marketing departments to sell more books.

Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro discussed the constraints and merits of genre categorization in the New Statesmen in June 2015. The discussion arose after Ishiguro’s novel, The Buried Giant, was not published as a fantasy novel despite the fact many aspects of fantasy are prevalent in the book. The labelling, or non-labelling, of Ishiguro’s novel drew criticism from both literary writers and genre-fiction writers (Gaiman & Ishiguro 2015). Ishiguro suggests that genre boundaries “have been invented fairly recently” by the publishing industry and “worries” when readers and writers hold true to these boundaries. He further believes that marketing categories “are not helpful to anyone apart from publishers and bookshops”. The discussion raises some valid points when thinking about genre from a form perspective, yet it does not consider the functions of genre and how negotiating genre conventions occurs in conjunction with readers. In response to a comment from Gaiman pointing out that Ishiguro’s fight scenes in the novel do not resemble fight scenes generally found in fantasy, Ishiguro responds: “If I was aware of genre at all during the fight scenes, I was thinking of samurai films and westerns” (Gaiman & Ishiguro 2015). This suggests that Ishiguro did consider genre during the writing of The Buried Giant, as he drew on his knowledge of samurai films and westerns in writing the fight scenes, yet the discussion does not go into more detail about the role of genre in the writing process and how understanding genre conventions enables writers to successfully subvert genre expectations and, in the process, develop new genres.

Author Kim Westwood (2011) points out that those authors whose works “slip between the genre cracks” are still judged and critiqued by many critics and readers against the criterion of the genre their works have been pigeon-holed into. Westwood herself was deemed by some in the industry to be a speculative fiction writer after a short story she wrote won the Aurealis Awards. Her novel, The Daughters of Moab (2008), was subsequently published as science fiction and was therefore judged and critiqued against the criterion of the genre, despite the fact Westwood herself labels the novel as “poetic apocalyptic” (2011). American investigative journalist and novelist Suki Kim faced a similar genre issue upon publication of her book Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, published in 2014. To write the book, Kim went undercover in North Korea, teaching English at a university in Pyongyang. Her intent was to write a book of investigative journalism about North Korea, a country where the people are constantly monitored and there are strict controls on what is or is not permitted (Kim 2016). After returning to the USA and writing her book, her publishers decided to include the words “a memoir” on the front cover because Kim framed the narrative using the first person and because memoirs written by women are commercially more successful than investigative journalism (ibid.). Kim fought against classifying the book as such, because she felt it undermined her purpose and the huge risks she had taken to conduct her research, but ultimately she was unsuccessful (ibid.). As a result, some reviewers judged her work against the merits and expectations of a memoir, rather than investigative journalism. Reviews in Kirkus (2014), the Chicago Tribune (Tsounderos 2014) and the Los Angeles Review of Books (Zeiser 2014) all focused on Kim’s deception of her students and questioned Kim’s ethics and dishonesty in writing the book. Kim writes that her work “was being dismissed for the very element that typically wins acclaim for narrative accounts of investigate journalism” (Kim 2016). In Kim’s case, her intention as an author when writing her book was replaced by the intention of her publisher upon the book’s publication and therefore her work was received and read by readers as memoir rather than investigative journalism. Categorizing writing according to genre runs the risk of alienating readers if they choose a work which crosses genre boundaries when they are expecting something more typical of the genre. Kim not only received reviews which questioned her ethics and deception of her students, but experienced abuse on social media and in her email inbox in response to her book (Kim 2016). It is for this reason that many within the literary industry see genre labels as arbitrary and not overly useful.

Creative writing as scholarly writing can be seen to be crossing genre boundaries, as creative writing is still a developing academic field (Owen 2006; Strange et al. 2016). Academics in creative writing are often held to the same academic expectations of other fields when those expectations do not adequately suit the nature of creative writing itself (Kroll 2002). Sue Norton, English Lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology, writes that creative writing is still not accepted as scholarly output, even when such writing directly relates to the topics a lecturer teaches:

A publishing writer who lectures in subject areas pertaining to writing, whether in a traditional English department or any other Arts or Humanities department, is likely to be well regarded by her students. But, ironically, she will win the regard of her institution much more readily by writing in fora meant not for the public, but for other academics. (Norton 2013: 71)

While in some academic environments creative output is considered one type of scholarly output, it is not the case across all institutions or all nations worldwide. In some cases, there is still little regard for the value of creative output as scholarly writing and more emphasis placed upon academic output such as refereed journal articles and book chapters. There is indication that this view of creative research is changing with practice-led research becoming more accepted in academia, but there is still a long way to go (Strange et al. 2016). Strange et al. write that “Universities are also increasingly recognizing creative works among their research outputs. Even if these outputs are not always accorded the same status as traditional research outputs they are now widely believed to make a significant contribution to practice-led research environments in arts and humanities’ faculties” (2016: 404). They acknowledge that practice-led research is still not accepted by everyone within the academy, yet this transition for creative works to be accepted as research output illustrates the way in which changing social contexts influence writing genres. As creative arts disciplines continue to grow within the university sector, so too what is considered as scholarly research must change to accommodate the changing context.


Negotiating Genre

On the other hand, David Buckingham questions what would happen if readers chose to read texts as a genre other than that of the labelled category: “We might well choose to read Neighbours [an Australian television soap opera], for instance, as a situation comedy—a reading which might focus less on empathizing with the psychological dilemmas of individual characters, and much more on elements of performance which disrupts its generally ‘naturalistic’ tone” (1993 cited in Chandler 2000: 8). What, then, if we chose to read all scholarly writing as creative writing? Original research requires creative thinking and to then transpose such research onto the page also requires a degree of creativity. I made a deliberate choice with this article to choose a more traditionally academic structure, but that choice does not preclude the reader from considering this article as creative writing. By the same token, what if we viewed writing we consider to be traditionally creative as scholarly? Good examples of creative writing often demonstrate research, original ideas and contributions to particular fields of writing, all traits which are shared with traditionally scholarly writing. It is these interactions between the writer’s intent and construction of a text, and the lens under which the reader chooses to read the text that creates an interaction between not only the reader and the text, but the reader and the writer. It is these interactions that contribute to the shifting boundaries of genre.

The engagement that occurs between writers and readers through texts to negotiate genre can also be clearly seen in foreign language learning. The text-based approach to language teaching emerged in the Australian TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) context, where there was a need to teach students language using whole texts (Feez 1998). The approach aims to show students how language can be constructed to make meaning, and how different ways of structuring language are more appropriate in different social contexts (Feez 1998). Thus, considering the social context and therefore which genre of writing will most clearly communicate the writer’s purpose is an essential aspect of the writing process, because both readers and writers are essential in negotiating genre conventions. Using the literary and linguistic applications of genre together demonstrates this process of negotiation and highlights the importance of genre from the very beginning of the writing process. In learning how to read and write in a second language in particular, students benefit from a wealth of knowledge about texts from their first language (Feez 1998). This prior knowledge is helpful when deciphering texts in a second language, as recognizing familiar layouts of particular text types or genres assists the students to make meaning of the foreign text. A recipe is a good example of this. Recipes have a very clear structure: a list of ingredients, followed by the method of how to create the dish. Thus, when being presented with a recipe in a foreign language, students are able to predict what grammatical structures and what vocabulary is likely to occur in the text, as they are familiar with the structure and purpose of a recipe from their own language. This knowledge therefore also helps students in structuring their own texts in foreign languages.

Outside of the language learning context, these same principles apply to how people read and construct texts in their native languages. Situating texts within their social contexts and considering textual features such as purpose and form enables writers to better communicate their meaning, and provides contextual information to readers before they start reading the content, allowing them to predict what the content will be before they start to read (Feez 1998). In Whitney et al.’s (2011) study, the researchers created a semester-long program to teach students about writing through genre. The students undertook a Nature Writing assignment and an Unfamiliar Genre assignment, where the students were encouraged to explore and write in a genre they were previously unfamiliar with. While the students read examples of work which fit into their chosen genre and kept particular conventions in mind, the focus was on how the genre connects with the social purpose of the piece of writing. The researchers “hoped students would see genres as tools and, in turn, see themselves as users of those tools, as writers who could select, study, and shape genres themselves rather than just completing assignments” (Whitney et al. 2011: 527). While current genre conventions were the starting point for the students in the study, they were encouraged to explore and shape the conventions of those genres themselves, both through responding to texts and writing texts of their own. Genre became a tool the students could use to create their own texts, rather than prescriptive guidelines they must not overstep.

A research article published in an academic journal has the purpose of disseminating new knowledge in the field to other researchers within the field (Rothman 2014). Therefore, immediately, the reader understands the language will be of a formal nature and use terminology from the field. The title will most likely be a short description of the content of the article, rather than the more abstract titles found on literary works, and headings will be used to organize the information. The abstract will give a summary of the article. By drawing on this knowledge and the social context of the writing, the reader has compiled enough contextual information to make sense of the content of the article and to engage with the ideas the writer is presenting. The very reason for including these features is to make the information easily digestible for the reader. That is not to suggest that including these features automatically means that a piece of writing which follows a particular structure will be well written. Genre is one of many tools at a writer’s disposal, and it is then up to how writers choose to use those tools. Therefore, considering conventions of genre is essential for a writer, as it assists in ensuring that the desired meaning is being communicated to the reader as clearly as possible. Furthermore, when targeting writing to particular publications, there are particular conventions of form that writers must adhere to. These conventions provide a framework for writers during the writing process.



Genre conventions emerge from the interaction between writers and readers in a fluid process that constantly shifts the boundaries of genres (Halliday 1978; Halliday & Hasan 1985; Chandler 2000; Wilkins 2005). Despite this, the ways in which writers use genre as a tool in the writing process has been largely overlooked in favour of exploring the role of readers and publishers in genre creation (Chandler 2000; Gaiman & Ishiguro 2015). In writing this article, I purposefully chose a traditional scholarly structure to communicate the ideas presented rather than structuring my writing in a more creative form because, as a scholar and a writer, structuring my writing in this way best suited my purpose in writing this article. While on first glance this article appears to more closely resemble traditional academic writing, there is nothing to prevent readers from examining this article under a creative writing lens (Buckingham 1993 cited in Chandler 2000). Doing so may influence a shift in the boundaries and social contexts which divide traditional scholarly writing and creative writing as scholarly output, and the ways in which these works are constructed. In my creative work, genre is always a consideration somewhere in the writing process. When targeting writing to a particular publication, genre conventions inform the way I construct my ideas on the page. If I am not targeting a particular publication, genre conventions may not be a consideration when writing the first draft, but, from the second draft onwards, knowing and understanding genre conventions informs my decisions on which direction to take my writing, and whether to conform to or subvert genre expectations. Far from being prescriptive, actively engaging with genre and using such conventions as tools in writing aides the creative process. It is by thinking about genre and crossing genre boundaries that new genres emerge in a renegotiation of the changing social contexts in which writers create their works.



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Raelke Grimmer is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Flinders University in South Australia and an ESL teacher. She holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Adelaide and a BCA in Creative Writing from Flinders University. Her MA dissertation explored the use of literature in language learning, and a chapter based on her dissertation entitled "Self-Learning a Foreign Language Through Literature: A Case-Study of a Self-Learner’s Socialisation into Czech Through Czech Literature" was published in Text-based Research and Teaching: A social semiotic perspective of language in use (Palgrave Macmillan 2017). For her doctoral thesis she is writing about Australia’s monolingualism and multiculturalism.