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  • Audio
  • 30 mins
  • Level 1: Introductory

What's creative about creative writing?

Updated Saturday 4th March 2017

Can creativity be taught? How far can you be creative when translating other people's work? Listen to translators, authors and creative writing teachers as they explore these and other questions of creativity.

This collection of interviews with writers, literary agents, educators and translators looks at what creativity means in the context of ‘creative writing’. We hear leading figures from the world of literature consider questions such as: Can creativity be taught? In what ways is translation creative? What part do culture and collaboration play in the creative process?

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Andrew Cowan on creativity and creative writing

Andrew Cowan, novelist and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, discusses the notion of creativity, and how it’s taught in creative writing workshops. 

Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University Andew Cowan

Read a transcript of Andrew Cowan's insights

Toby Litt on genre and creative writing

The writer Toby Litt discusses the short story, how creativity relates to genre and language, and uses of the term ‘creative writing’. 

Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University Toby Litt

Read a transcript of Toby Litt's discussion

Sally O'Reilly & Emma Darwin on the relationship between history and historical fiction

Novelists Sally O’Reilly and Emma Darwin discuss the relationship between historical ‘truth’ and historical ‘fiction’.

Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University Sally O'Reilly (left) and Emma Darwin (right)

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Jutta Schettler, Jaime Bulloch & Jeremy Munday on the art and craft of translation

Professor Jeremy Munday, and professional translators Jutta Schettler and Jamie Bulloch talk about creativity in translation.

Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University From left to right: Jeremy Munday, Jutta Schettler and Jamie Bulloch

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Xiaolu Guo on cultural translation and more

The novelist Xiaolu Guo discusses the writing process and issues of cultural translation.

Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University Xiaolu Guo

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Jonny Geller on the role of the literary agent

Jonny Geller, Chief Executive of the literary agency Curtis Brown, discusses the relationship between creativity and commerce in publishing.

Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University Jonny Geller

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