Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping


Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.2 X 0.7 inches | 0.62 pounds

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About the Author

Matthew Salesses is the author of three novels, Disappear Doppelgรคnger Disappear, The Hundred-Year Flood, and I'm Not Saying, I'm Just Saying, and a forthcoming essay collection. He has taught at Coe College, the Ashland MFA program, the Tin House and Kundiman summer workshops, and writing centers like Grub Street and Inprint, among others. He has edited fiction for Gulf Coast, Redivider, and The Good Men Project and has written about craft and creative writing workshops for venues like NPR's Code Switch, The Millions, Electric Literature, and Pleiades. He was adopted from Korea and currently lives in Iowa.


A Write or Die Tribe Most Anticipated Book of the Year
A Rumpus Most Anticipated Book of Next Year

A real eye opener . . . It unpacks the seemingly 'universal' lessons we learn about what makes fiction good to reveal how whiteness and maleness have shaped those values. --Kumari Devarajan, Code Switch, NPR

Required reading for creative writing teachers, Matthew Salesses's Craft in the Real World is an argument and a guide for upending the traditional workshop model and our conceptions of craft. --Literary Hub, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year

A critical addition to the pedagogical canon, laying out how the traditional workshop form and many ideas about 'craft' have been envisioned largely by and for white male writers. The book includes exercises and advice for revision and editing and guiding teachers through reimagining what it is to teach and encourage writers. --The Millions, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year

The MFA and its traditional workshop model have long been criticized and challenged, but rarely does it ever change--until now . . . This book forces people to ask, What have we been centering in the MFA world? What do we value--and who is 'we, ' by the way?--in workshops and how does this affect diverse writers? How can we change the landscape of creative writing? This book is a start, and I hope it winds up in every writing teacher and MFA instructor's hands as required reading. --Jaime Herndon, Book Riot

A fresh view of teaching craft to writers of diverse backgrounds . . . An insightful guide for readers, writers, and instructors from all walks of life. --Kirkus Reviews

Craft in the Real World is an instant essential book. Every writer, every writing teacher, every critic, every reviewer, anyone interested in how language works needs to read this. Now. --Beth Nguyen, author of Stealing Buddha's Dinner

Astounding in its research and the case it makes for craft, Craft in the Real World asks writers and teachers of writing to claim our place as conscious participants in and makers of culture. --Tiphanie Yanique, author of Land of Love and Drowning

Brilliant. Essential. This book will--and should--change creative writing workshops forever. --Joy Castro, author of Hell or High Water

This book is a gift to those writers who've felt the tilt of imbalanced power in a workshop, who've wondered whose rules they're following when they write and why, who've struggled to tell their stories within a narrow and restrictive tradition. --Alexandra Kleeman, author of Intimations

This is exactly the book we need right now--a vital corrective to the myth that craft is a neutral, objective category unaffected by historical or cultural context. Matthew Salesses explores how beliefs about 'good' writing are profoundly marked by race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and national identity; and he offers concrete strategies for liberating our classrooms and writing practices from the straight-white-male default gaze. I will recommend Craft in the Real World to every writer and teacher I know. --Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks