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Liminality and process: strategies for the creative writing classroom

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Jeanette Winterson’s Gut Symmetries ‘collapsed’ on her three times during the writing process and she had to throw away substantial drafts. In a Paris Review interview (1997) she states: ‘You really have to have faith the–and it is a question of faith–and you do have to believe, because there is no other way … There is nothing to say that because you have covered pages in the past that you will cover them in the future. Or that they will be any good. There are no guarantees.’ This can be confronting enough for established writers; how do you teach this to early writers? How do issues of process and liminality sit within the context of tertiary subject learning outcomes? Creative writing pedagogues are subject to the restraints of providing a coherent class structure and this can make it difficult to move writers towards the discomfort of liminality–and yet there are strategies teachers can use to engage students with complications of process. This essay will examine writer interviews and accounts of process before outlining strategies I’ve used within the creative writing classroom to help students track their own processes as they face into writing and revision.

Publication Date


  • 2021

Citation


  • Cosgrove, S. E. (2021). Liminality and process: strategies for the creative writing classroom. New Writing, 18(3), 355-363. doi:10.1080/14790726.2020.1855201

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85099456251

Start Page


  • 355

End Page


  • 363

Volume


  • 18

Issue


  • 3

Abstract


  • Jeanette Winterson’s Gut Symmetries ‘collapsed’ on her three times during the writing process and she had to throw away substantial drafts. In a Paris Review interview (1997) she states: ‘You really have to have faith the–and it is a question of faith–and you do have to believe, because there is no other way … There is nothing to say that because you have covered pages in the past that you will cover them in the future. Or that they will be any good. There are no guarantees.’ This can be confronting enough for established writers; how do you teach this to early writers? How do issues of process and liminality sit within the context of tertiary subject learning outcomes? Creative writing pedagogues are subject to the restraints of providing a coherent class structure and this can make it difficult to move writers towards the discomfort of liminality–and yet there are strategies teachers can use to engage students with complications of process. This essay will examine writer interviews and accounts of process before outlining strategies I’ve used within the creative writing classroom to help students track their own processes as they face into writing and revision.

Publication Date


  • 2021

Citation


  • Cosgrove, S. E. (2021). Liminality and process: strategies for the creative writing classroom. New Writing, 18(3), 355-363. doi:10.1080/14790726.2020.1855201

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85099456251

Start Page


  • 355

End Page


  • 363

Volume


  • 18

Issue


  • 3