Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

McCanne, Thomas R.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of English


Creative writing; Education; Philosophy


As creative writing studies moves toward becoming a discipline, scholars have called for inquiry into the diverse philosophies that drive creative writing as a field of study. To determine the extent to which writers' beliefs could be mapped or categorized along recognizable lines, I surveyed 117 creative writers about their opinions regarding the nature of creativity. The results were studied quantitatively and qualitatively using correlations, Exploratory Factor Analysis, and rhetorical analysis. The data demonstrated that creative writing philosophy is even more complex than literature on the subject might suggest. Respondents' beliefs about creativity were inextricably influenced by a wide variety of other belief systems and worldviews, including politics, religion, education, and social justice. I recommend that future studies on creative writing philosophy look closely at the underlying rhetorical frameworks respondents use when discussing creativity, as these frameworks made analysis more manageable. The data also suggest that creative writing studies are best characterized as an interdisciplinary field.


Advisors: Thomas McCann.||Committee members: Michael Day; Amy Newman.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


vi, 124 pages




Northern Illinois University

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