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Why All Writing is ‘Creative’ Writing

David McVey

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Creative Writing (CW) courses and degrees are growing in number and influence. They are fashionable for students to enrol on, fashionable for institutions to offer. CW courses have an established track record in producing successful novelists, bring new challenges in reconciling creativity and conformity and provide a useful source of employment for writers.
     However, there are many writers who work in higher education (HE) and are involved in encouraging students to produce writing, but who are not associated with CW classes or modules or departments. These writers confront much more basic issues of creation in student writing. In the era of mass Higher Education, many students are intimidated by any kind of written work. For them, every piece of writing is a learning experience and, in any true meaning of the term, creative writing.
     ICT has not killed off writing: rather, it has multiplied it. Our students today have to write not only lecture notes and essays and reports and exam answers, but also contributions to online discussions, entries in ePortfolios, content for websites and emails. If we can overcome our students’ reluctance to write, we can give them great power and freedom: we can enable them to create.
     This paper describes some of the work being done at the University of Paisley to help students into writing and challenges the special status of ‘creative writing’.

Author Bio(s)

David McVey is a Lecturer in the Centre for Learning and Teaching at the University of Paisley. He is also a writer with hundreds of published items, including over 60 short stories. He is particularly interested in the pedagogy of teaching writing and its relation to what is usually termed ‘creative writing’. David McVey has presented papers at a number of conferences and also researches and publishes in the field of Scottish History. His ambitions are to complete a novel and to watch Scotland play in the World Cup Finals again.