Cultural diversity among members of a creative writing workshop complicates matters of classroom authority, not least because students’ writing often hinges on cultural particularities beyond an instructor’s expertise. We argue that workshops should include opportunities for students to discuss their needs and objectives regarding culturally specific elements of their work, such as literary touchstones, underlying cultural values, and target audiences. We also argue that instructors need to teach students when and how to claim cultural authority, that workshops should involve self-reflexivity about the cultural norms underlying literary practices, and that alternative cultural values need to be addressed.

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