Between the Story and the World: I review Matthew Selasses’s “Craft in the Real World”

Between the Story and the World: I review Matthew Selasses’s “Craft in the Real World” July 27, 2022

for Commonweal:

…None of these stories were intended for the audience of a contemporary American writing workshop: the place where students in MFA programs learn what it means to write well. Matthew Salesses’s recent book, Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping, argues that most writing workshops would label work modeled on these examples as “bad writing.” Salesses’s foremost concern is the way that the behavioral and artistic norms of writing workshops suppress or distort the voices of writers of color, but his deeper purpose is to suggest that the question “What makes a story ‘good writing’?” can’t be answered until you know who the story is for.

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