Dear Publication Advisors

How To Choose The Right Teacher

Dear Pub Advisors, 

There are a lot of teachers online and even in my town that teach a variety of creative writing classes.  Some of them have degrees, some of them are affiliated with universities, some of them are published.  These classes are not cheap.  My question is: how do you know which teachers are actually good?  What credentials makes someone able to teach successfully?


– Stuck Searching



Dear Stuck Searching,

It depends. 

What do you want to get out of your creative writing class?

Do you want to publish in a top tier magazine? If so, I would choose a teacher who has published in a magazine you admire.  Not only will his/her style appeal to you more, but the instructor has intimate knowledge on navigating that particular magazine.

Do you want to generate a large quantity of material?

A teacher who is nonjudgmental and focuses more on the sensory process may help with this goal. When a class is about creativity and less involved with the editing and critique process, the writer has the freedom to write without internally criticizing.  

Do you want to understand literature or compare current writing to famous writers of the past?

A detailed interest in the history of great writers coupled with reading content from all time periods may best be suited in an academic setting.  Depending on the background of the instructor (where does she/he teach, what did they major in, etc.) the level of the class may vary.


Send questions to: [email protected]

Rebecca Lee