13 January 2011
Perfect partners or strange bedfellows?
RMIT's Professor of Creative Writing, Catherine Cole, addresses the conference.
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Should creative writers marry or divorce their traditional partner, literary studies? That was the theme running through the 15th annual conference of the Australian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP).
The conference was hosted from 25 to 27 November by the Writing Program in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University.
The conference drew leading Australian and international scholars in the fields of creative writing, cultural, literary and educational studies, including:
- The winner of the 2010 Victorian Premier's Award, Professor Brenda Walker
- Creative education expert, Professor Jonathan Holmes, from the University of Tasmania
- Dr Andrew Cowan, coordinator of the University of East Anglia, UK, writing program which shaped writers such as Ian McEwen and Tracey Chevalier
- Chris Gribble, Director of the Norwich Writers' Centre, UK, and a key player in Norwich's bid to become a City of Literature.
During the conference, papers were presented by writer/academics, postgraduate students and commentators on the study of creative writing in universities and schools.
There were book launches and a hilarious end-of-day address by the Melbourne crime writer and raconteur, Shane Maloney.
"The conference was a wonderful gathering of expertise," RMIT's Professor of Creative Writing, Catherine Cole, said.
"The AAWP is a major player in the ways in which the contemporary university offers education in the creative arts.
"The conference offered opportunities for traditional literary studies teachers and researchers to share ideas with the teachers of writing - it's the developers of writers meeting with the studiers of writers, though of course it's far more complex than that."
The conference was a great chance to network.
The Australian Association of Writing Programs conference attracted a broad audience.