S279. Easy A's and Epic Fails: Grading the Creative Writer

Room 410, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Saturday, April 2, 2016
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


What does it mean to fail a poem? Will students dare to experiment if a conventional story earns a 98%? This panel examines the ramifications of attaching grades to creative work, debating the value of this assessment on student writing improvement. Agreeing to disagree, the members of this panel reflect on our varied assessment practices and wrestle with the question of how to grade while simultaneously encouraging students to take the risks necessary for artistic growth.



Siân Griffiths directs the creative writing program at Weber State University. Her work is forthcoming in the Georgia Review and appears in Fifth Wednesday Journal, Ninth Letter, Quarterly West, and more. For more information about her and her novel Borrowed Horses, check sbgriffiths.com.

Katharine Coles’s sixth poetry collection, Flight, is newly out. Recent poems have been translated into German, Spanish, and Italian. She has received awards from the NSF Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, the NEA, the NEH, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She teaches at the University of Utah.

Michael Martone teaches writing at the university in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He writes himself as well, mostly about himself, Indiana, and being born there, and about writing and writing about writing.

Melanie Rae Thon's most recent books are Silence & Song, The 7th Man, The Voice of the River, and In This Light. Thon teaches in the creative writing and environmental humanities programs at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Joshua Robbins is the author of Praise Nothing. He is assistant professor of English and creative writing at the University of the Incarnate Word.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center