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The CWSO Board of Directors and its advisory group seeks to offer resources that provide an introduction to the field of creative writing studies. To this end, we compiled the following reading lists that represent excellent starting points for several areas within the field of creative writing studies. 

The list is loosely organized into the following sections:

  • On Artistic Practice and Aesthetic Contribution: Texts that examine the politics of craft, identity in writing, cultural / aesthetic traditions, and ways of making that challenge traditional boundaries and what it means to do creative writing. 
  • Creative Writers on Representation: Books and edited collections from creative writers who examine issues of imagination, the effects and affects of racial difference, and representation as it unfolds in the practice of creative writing. 
  • Reimagining the Workshop / Building Writing Communities: Texts that challenge the traditional structures of creative writing workshops and offer crucial discussions of what it means to build inclusive and socially-just writing communities.
  • Creative Writing Teaching: Applied pedagogical discussions about what happens in a range of creative writing classrooms (including K-12 classrooms, higher education, etc.).
  • Publishing: Anthologies of essays written by editors, authors, and artists who reflect on publishing processes and the spheres in which texts circulate.
  • Multilingualism & Linguistic Justice: Theories of linguistic justice as they apply to creative writing.
  • Creative Writing Methodologies: Approaches to conducting research in creative writing, including theoretical approaches.
  • Creative Writing in Higher Education: Texts that historicize and locate creative writing in higher education.
  • Media, Technology, and Creative Writing: Studies of literary production with an emphasis on the role of technology and media.

There are many areas of study and genres of publications in creative writing that this list does not cover, including craft textbooks meant for student audiences, etc. In the interest of finding balance, any one writer/researcher appears only once or a couple of times on this list; as such, the list does not represent the full body of work of any one theorist. We encourage those who make use of this list to seek out more readings from each author.

We expect and hope to see these lists change over time as the body of scholarship in the field of creative studies continues to grow and deepen. If you have suggestions for new additions to this list, please complete this form

This list was last updated in April 2021. To see the CWSO’s original reading list, now archived, follow this link.

On Artistic Practice and Aesthetic Contribution

Aldama, Frederick Luis. Formal Matters in Contemporary Latino Poetry. Palgrave McMillan, 2013. 

Alexander, Will. Singing in Magnetic Hoofbeat: Essays, Prose Texts, Interviews, and a Lecture, 1997-2007. Edited by Taylor Brady. Essay Press, 2012.

Ben-Oni, Rosebud, ed. On Poetics, Identity, and Latinidad: CantoMundo Poets Speak Out. Essay Press. 2017.

Black, Sheila, Jennifer Bartlett and Michael Northen, eds. Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Cinco Puntos Press, 2011. 

Carroll, Audrey T., ed. Musing the Margins: Essays on Craft. HumanKind Press, 2020.

Dawes, Kwame, ed. When the Rewards Can Be So Great: Essays on Writing and the Writing Life. 1849 Editions, 2016. 

Fuhrman, CMarie and Dean Rader, eds. Native Voices: Indigenous American Poetry, Craft, and Conversations. Tupelo Press, 2019. 

Galvan-Huynh, Amanda & Luisa A. Igloria, eds. Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics. Operating System, 2019.

Kitabat alkitabah Writers on Writing. Beirut: ARRAWI Publishing, 2010

Lee, Sherry Quan, ed. How Dare We! Write: A Multicultural Creative Writing Discourse. Modern History Press, 2007.

Mura, David. A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity, and Narrative Craft in Writing. U of Georgia P, 2018.

Parker Rhodes, Jewell. Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons for Black Authors. Main Street Books, 1999. 

Salesses, Matthew. Craft in the Real World. Catapult, 2021.

Tolbert, TC and Trace Peterson, eds. Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. Nightboat Books, 2013. 

Washuta, Elissa and Theresa Warburton, eds. Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers. University of Washington, 2019. 

Xudao Jun. Creative Writing Fifteen Lessons (Chinese Edition). Shanghai University Press, 2019. 

Creative Writers on Representation

McCullough, Laura, ed. A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race. U of Georgia P, 2015.

Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. Vintage, 1992.

Philip, M. NourbeSe. Frontiers: Essays and Writings on Racism and Culture. Mercury P, 1992.

Rankine, Claudia, Beth Loffreda, and Max King Cap, eds. The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. Fence, 2015.

Wang, Dorothy. Thinking Its Presence: Form, Race, and Subjectivity in Asian American Poetry. Stanford University Press, 2014.

Ziff, Bruce, and Pratima V. Rao. Borrowed Power: Essays on Cultural Appropriation. Rutgers University Press, 1997.

Reimagining the Workshop / Building Writing Communities

Chavez, Felicia Rose. The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom. Haymarket, 2021. 

Coles, Katharine. Blueprints: Bringing Poetry into Communities. University of Utah Press, 2011. 

Donnelly, Dianne. Does the Writing Workshop Still Work? Multilingual Matters, 2016. 

Elbow, Peter and Patricia Belanoff. Sharing and Responding. McGraw Hill, 1999. 

Leahy, Anna. Power and Identity in the Creative Writing Classroom: The Authority Project. Multilingual Matters, 2005. 

Jones, Omi Osun Joni L., Lisa L. Moore, Sharon Bridgeforth, eds. Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project. University of Texas Press, 2010.

Muller, Lauren, and June Jordan. June Jordan’s Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint. Taylor & Francis, 1995. 

Nowak, Mark. Social Poetics. Coffee House Press, 2020.

Thaxton, Terry Ann. Creative Writing in the Community. Bloomsbury Academic, 2014. 

Creative Writing Teaching

Adsit, Janelle. Toward an Inclusive Creative Writing: Threshold Concepts to Guide the Literary Writing Curriculum. Bloomsbury Academic, 2019. 

Aldama, Frederick Luis. Latino/a Literature in the Classroom. Routledge, 2015. 

Ash, Amy, Michael Dean Clark, and Chris Drew. Imaginative Teaching through Creative Writing A Guide for Secondary Classrooms. Bloomsbury, 2021.

Berg, Danita and Lori May. Creative Composition: Inspiration and Techniques for Writing Instruction. Multilingual Matters, 2015. 

Bishop, Wendy and Hans Ostrom. Colors of a Different Horse: Rethinking Creative Writing Theory and Pedagogy. NCTE, 1994. 

Cantú-Sánchez, Margaret, Candace de León-Zepeda, and Norma Elia Cantú. Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldúa: Pedagogy and Practice for Our Classrooms and Communities. University of Arizona Press, 2020. 

España, Carla and Luz Yadira Herrera. En Comunidad: Lessons for Centering the Voices and Experiences of Bilingual Latinx Students. Heinemann, 2020. 

Lasky, Dorothea, and Dominic Luxford, and Jesse Nathan. Open the Door: How to Excite Young People about Poetry. Poetry Foundation, 2013.

Marzán, Julio, ed.  Luna, Luna: Creative Writing Ideas from Spanish, Latin American, and Latino Literature (English and Spanish Edition). Teachers and Writers Collaborative, 2000. 

McCrory, Moy, and Simon Heywood, eds. Strategies of Silence: Reflections on the Practice and Pedagogy of Creative Writing. Routledge, 2021.

Moore, Marshall and Sam Meekings. The Place and the Writer: International Intersections of Teacher Lore and Creative Writing Pedagogy. Bloomsbury Academic, 2021. 

Peary, Alexandria and Tom C Hunley. Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Centuries. Southern Illinois University Press, 2015. 

Retallack, Joan, and Juliana Spahr. Poetry and Pedagogy: The Challenge of the Contemporary. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

Thomas, Lorenzo, ed. Sing the Sun Up: Creative Writing Ideas from African-American Literature. Teachers and Writers Collaborative, 1998. 

Vandermeulen, Carl. Negotiating the Personal in Creative Writing. Multilingual Matters, 2011. 

Vanderslice, Stephanie and Rebecca Manery. Can Creative Writing Really Be Taught?: Resisting Lore in Creative Writing Pedagogy. Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. 


Baker, Dallas John, Donna Lee Brien, and Jen Webb, eds. Publishing and Culture. Cambridge, 2019. 

Hecq, Dominique. The Creativity Market: Creative Writing in the 21st Century. Multilingual Matters, 2012. 

Kurowski, ed., Paper Dreams: Writers and Editors on the American Literary Magazine. Atticus Books, 2013. 

Licona, Adela C. Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric. SUNY, 2013.

Miller, Prufer, and Kurowski, eds., Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century. Milkweed Editions, 2016. 

Parker Rhodes, Jewell. The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Nonfiction. Broadway, 2002. 

Young, John, ed. Black Writers, White Publishers: Marketplace Politics in Twentieth-Century African American Literature. University Press of Mississippi, 2006. 

Multilingualism & Linguistic Justice 

Adsit, Janelle, ed. Critical Creative Writing. Bloomsbury Academic, 2018. 

— Anzaldúa, Gloria. “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.” 

— Cruz, Conchitina. “The Filipino Author as Producer.” 

— Harmon, Amy. “Writing Deaf: Textualizing Deaf Literature.” 

— Marmon Silko, Leslie. “Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective.” 

Avineri, Netta, Laura Graham, Eric Johnson, Robin Conley Riner, and Jonathan Rosa. Language and Social Justice in Practice. Routledge, 2018. 

Baker-Bell, April. Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy. NCTE Routledge, 2020. 

Hanauer, David Ian. Poetry as Research: Exploring Second Language Poetry Writing. John Benjamins, 2010.

Lippi-Green, Rosina. English with an Accent: Language, Ideology, and Discrimination in the United States. Routledge, 2011. 

Piller, Ingrid. Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice. Oxford University Press, 2016. 

Young, Vershawn Ashanti and Aja Martinez. Code-Meshing as World English: Pedagogy, Policy, Performance. National Council of Teachers of English, 2011. 

Young, Vershawn Ashanti et. al. Other People’s English: Code-Meshing, Code-Switching, and African American Literacy. Teachers College Press, 2014. 

Zhao, Yan. Second Language Creative Writers: Identities and Writing Processes. Multilingual Matters, 2015. 

Creative Writing Studies Research and Methodologies 

Dean, Roger T., and Hazel Smith, eds. Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts. Edinburgh UP, 2009.

Donnelly, Dianne and Graeme Harper. Key Issues in Creative Writing. Multilingual Matters, 2012. 

Faulkner, Sandra L. Poetry as Method: Reporting Research through Verse. Routledge, 2016.

Ge Hongbing,Theory of Creative Writing (Chinese Edition),High Education Press, 2020.

Diao Keli,The Author (Chinese Edition), Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press,2019.

Ding Bohui, Creative Writing (Chinese Edition), Higher Education Press, 2016.

Feng Ruchang, Creative Writing for College Students (Chinese Edition), Higher Education Press, 2020.

Gerard, Philip. The Art of Creative Research. U Chicago P, 2017.

Haake, Katharine. What Our Speech Disrupts: Feminism and Creative Writing Studies. NCTE, 2000. 

Harper, Graeme and Jeri Kroll. Creative Writing Studies: Practice, Research and Pedagogy. Multilingual Matters, 2011. 

Harper, Graeme, ed. Critical Approaches to Creative Writing. Routledge, 2018.

Harper, Graeme, ed. New Ideas in the Writing Arts. Cambridge 2013.

Harper, Graeme, ed. Responding to Creative Writing. Cambridge UP, 2020.

Hecq, Dominique. Towards a Poetics of Creative Writing. Multilingual Matters, 2015.

Jiang Bing, Huang Jianyun, Creative Writing Practice and Course for College Students (Chinese Edition), Jinan University Press, 2017.

Kroll, Jeri, and Graeme Harper. Research in Creative Writing. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Lei Yong, The Research of the Creativity Theory in Creative Writing (Chinese Edition), Shanghai University Press, 2021.

Liu Haitao, Literature and Creative Writing (Chinese Edition), Higher Education Press, 2021.

Liu Weidong. The Fundamental Theories in Creative Writing (Chinese Edition)Shanghai University Press,2019.

Xu Daojun, Chinese Creative Writing Studies(Chinese Edition), High Education Press, 2019.

Xu Daojun, Ge Hongbing. Creative Writing: Basic Theories and Practice (Chinese Edition). Guangxi Normal University Press, 2012. 

Webb, Jen. Researching Creative Writing. Frontinus, 2015.

Webb, Jen, and Monica Carroll. Creativity in Context: How to Make a Poet. Recent Work P, 2018.

Creative Writing in Higher Education

Bennett, Eric. Workshops of Empire: Stegner, Engle, and American Creative Writing during the Cold War. University of Iowa Press, 2015. 

Dawson, Paul. Creative Writing and the New Humanities. Routledge, 2004. 

Donnelly, Dianne. Establishing Creative Writing Studies as an Academic Discipline. Multilingual Matters, 2011. 

Harper, Graeme. Creative Writing and Education. Multilingual Matters, 2015. 

Mayers, Tim. (Re)Writing Craft: Composition, Creative Writing, and the Future of English Studies. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005. 

McGurl, Mark. The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing. Harvard University Press, 2011. 

Myers, D.G. The Elephants Teach: Creative Writing Since 1880. Prentice Hall, 1995. 

Vanderslice, Stephanie. Rethinking Creative Writing. The Professional and Higher Partnership, 2011. 

Vanderslice, Stephanie. Studying Creative Writing-Successfully. Frontinus, 2016.

Media, Technology, and Creative Writing

Amato, Joe and Kass Fleisher. Reforming Creative Writing Pedagogy: History as Knowledge, Knowledge as Activism (Online)

Clark, Michael Dean, Trent Hergenrader, and Joseph Rein. Creative Writing in the Digital Age: Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy. Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. 

Girardi, Tamara, Abigail G. Scheg. Theories and Strategies for Teaching Creative Writing Online. Routledge, 2021.

Hungerford, Amy. Making Literature Now. Stanford UP, 2016.

Koehler, Adam. Composition, Creative Writing Studies, and the Digital Humanities. Bloomsbury Academic, 2018. 

Also See

Please also see:

De-Canon: Writers of Color Discussing Craft

Felicia Rose Chavez Reading List

Conscious Style Guide

More Readings in Creative Writing Studies

What Is Missing?

Once again, if you have suggestions for new additions to this list, please complete this form