Helen Stockton (Constable & Robinson/Murdoch) 2014, 1207pp, RRP $29.99
This is an excellent resource that creative writing teachers will find invaluable. New teachers will soak up every exercise and rejoice at having a near ready-made curriculum. Experienced teachers will think of ways to adapt the exercises to their own teaching situation and style, and find new ideas to freshen up their curriculum. Although it is aimed primarily at practice-based tertiary teaching, the exercises and lesson plans are easily adaptable to secondary teaching as well.
Teaching Creative Writing begins with information on course planning, understanding learning styles, gathering resources and establishing class rules before moving on to the creative writing component. I found the chapters on creating characters and genre fiction particularly interesting, and will use some of the exercises in my own writing practice.
There is a strong focus on exercises (of which there are many for each topic) and the detailed lesson plans are excellent.
Helen Stockton is an experienced educator, and it shows. She has a genuine understanding of what it takes to make a classroom successful, and includes information on managing a classroom and remaining sensitive to, and understanding, students’ needs.
Teaching Creative Writing provides a complete semester of teaching for an introductory creative writing course in a well-structured and perfectly clear nutshell.
Teaching Creative Writing is available through Allen & Unwin. Click here to purchase your copy.