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NAWE Autumn Conference 2005: Writer as (self) critic
Tue 20 Sep 2005
Booking is now open for NAWE's Autumn Conference at Lancaster University, in association with St Martin's College. Details will be mailed to all NAWE members, otherwise on request.
Are critical and creative writing at odds with each other? Are they still perceived as distinct and, if so, should they be? Where do the roles of writer, critic and teacher overlap? And collide? Which comes first, your creative or your critical self?

As writers working in education we frequently approach both critical and creative texts. Does this produce tension? And how does it affect our own identities as writer-critics? Do we spend so much time and creative energy on analysing others' work and writing critically about it that we have no resources left for our own creative writing?

How do you see the current state of relations between the disciplines of English Literature and Creative Writing in the education system? Should Creative Writing be more closely aligned to practical arts such as drama and visual art than to English? Should there be a GCSE or A-level in Creative Writing? Would this safeguard young people's right to value their skills and interest in creative writing, or would the inevitable demand for a balance between creative and critical writing to meet perceived academic criteria be damaging?

The current debate around the balance of critical and creative writing in the Creative Writing PhD is fierce. As creative writing now constitutes research in a great many institutions, does investigating the world through creative practice alone provide enough evidence of knowledge of the field, or is there a need for critical exemplification too? And what ramifications does this have for the kind of writing expected of creative writing tutors by their institutions?

Are we creating a monster by institutionalizing creative writing and thereby yoking it with critical writing? Or have creative writers always and necessarily been critics?

The conference programme addresses these questions from many different angles, with sessions aimed specifically at those working in schools, in universities, and in community contexts, as well as many more general papers and discussions. There are also practical workshops on offer for those who wish to spend some of the day writing. The programme commences on the Friday evening, with a drinks reception, the NAWE Annual general Meeting, and readings by writers on the staff at Lancaster University and St Martin's College. Saturday's full programme is detailed in the downloadable Word document.

Contact Information:
Contact Name:
Joanna Ingham / 020 8670 5407
Contact Email:
Associated Downloads: