Abandoning the Prescriptive in the Creative Writing Classroom

Room 337, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 3
Thursday, March 9, 2023
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


In the creative writing classroom, students learn to structure stories and poems around an epiphanic moment, and in creative nonfiction they are taught to give reflection moments. These examples of strict prescriptive craft elements limit our notions of what these genres can do. This panel will share methods for writing and teaching within the genres as well as strategies for empowering students to interrogate established aspects of craft and invent new shapes capable of holding their experiences.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Abandoning_the_Prescriptive_(draft).pdf



Rachel M. Hanson holds an MFA from the University of Utah and a PhD in literature and nonfiction from the University of Missouri. A former O'Connor Fellow in Nonfiction, she now teaches literature and creative writing at the University of North Carolina Asheville.

Eric Tran is a resident physician in psychiatry. He is the author of the forthcoming book of poetry, The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer, and the chapbooks Revisions and Affairs with Men in Suits.

Ginger Ko is an assistant professor at Sam Houston State University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing. She is the author of Motherlover and Inherit, as well as several chapbooks. Her latest project is POWER ON, a book as interactive app.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center