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Wednesday, May 07, 2014 - Honors College dean pens new book, promotes creative writing worldwide

Throughout history, the practice of creative writing has left an indelible mark across cultures. In his new book, “The Future for Creative Writing,” Graeme Harper, DCA, Ph.D., says the field will flourish in new ways as the world further harnesses technologies like digital publishing and social media.

Looking ahead, Dr. Harper, dean of Oakland University’s Honors College, sees many opportunities for creative writers to engage in their craft and share their work with others. He says that the “interconnectedness” of the world will enhance the flow of creative ideas and that works of creative writing will increasingly appear in digital forms, allowing for more interactive experiences among readers and writers.  

“Writers and their audiences are no longer separated by the industrial practices of the past 300 years,” Dr. Harper said. “Our 21st Century world offers so many opportunities for positive human exchanges.”

Dr. Harper also believes that creative writing education will come to focus far more on the creative writing process, rather than mostly end products.

“Today, we can readily celebrate how human beings create in the world, while very much appreciating the material evidence of our creative endeavors. We have a wonderful new opportunity to explore the creative heart of what it is to be human,” he said.

At Oakland, Dr. Harper has helped creative writers around the world explore the creative writing process. He spearheaded the world’s first Global Creative Writing Hangout, a live video gathering of creative writers, writing professors and researchers from diverse countries, including the United States, China, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

A second Global Creative Writing Hangout event was held at OU last February, with invitations sent to creative writers working in universities in North America, China, South Africa, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, China, India, Pakistan, Australia and more. This hangout ran for a record 12 hours and a third hangout is planned for fall.

“The Creative Writing program here at Oakland is excellent,” said Dr. Harper. “I know we have wonderful creative writing faculty and world-class developments happening. I personally feel a real excitement about the work being done in Creative Writing teaching and learning here at Oakland.”

Dr. Harper has won numerous awards, such as the National Book Council Award for New Fiction (Australia), the Premier’s Award for New Fiction, and awards from organizations, including The Physicians of Philadelphia, the BBC, the Eastern Frontier Foundation, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He is founding editor-in-chief of the journal “New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing” and earned the first doctorate in Creative Writing ever awarded in Australia. He later moved to the United Kingdom to complete a Ph.D. While there, he was the inaugural chair of the higher education committee for the National Association of Writers in Education, and founding chair of the National Institute for Excellence in the Creative Industries. He has written or edited more than two dozen books, as well as film scripts, libretti and site-specific work.  He is currently working on a new novel – a critical work about how humans respond to the world – and editing a book about creative education.