This paper discusses a new direction for research on creative writing: exploring the formative contexts within which writers develop, receive recognition and are celebrated, our approach centres on literary networks and activities that characterise well-recognised literary communities. By studying the UNESCO Cities of Literature network, our research aims to identify and analyse key formative experiences for contemporary creative writers, although in this paper we simply refer to one of those cities — Melbourne.
We hypothesise that the notion of a ‘community of practice’ has potential to be a constructive way to interrogate writers’ practices within literary communities to inform arts policy making and university creative writing programs. In this discussion we try to show how our approach promises to deliver a variety of
findings, such as showing the practical links between creative writing and literary studies, as well as between creative writing processes and products.