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A Reader for Writers

Ryan G. Van Cleave

Publication Date - 31 December 2015

ISBN: 9780190279929

480 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock


Developed for courses in first-year writing, Creativity: A Reader for Writers includes an interdisciplinary mix of public, academic, and cultural reading selections. It provides students with the rhetorical knowledge and analytical strategies required to participate effectively in discussions about creativity by covering the major theories, modern research, and current issues in the field. Topics include:

-Cognitive mechanisms and creativity
-Creativity, personality, and motivation
-Family and social influences on creativity
-Child prodigies
-International perspectives
-Creativity and innovation in the workplace
-Marginalization of creative people due to race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomics
-Creativity and mental health
-Creativity and aging

Creativity: A Reader for Writers is part of a series of brief, single-topic readers from Oxford University Press designed for today's college writing courses. Each reader in this series approaches a topic of contemporary conversation from multiple perspectives.


  • Includes idea-generation activities and techniques
  • Features both current and classic scholarship on creativity
  • Examines and debunks myths of creativity

About the Author(s)

Ryan was a Kingsbury Writing Fellow at Florida State University in 2000, the 2000-2001 Anastasia C. Hoffman Writing Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the 2007-2008 Jenny McKean Moore Writer-in-Washington at George Washington University.

He has taught creative writing and literature at Clemson University, Eckerd College, Florida State University, George Washington University, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as at prisons, community centers, and urban at-risk youth facilities. He currently teaches writing, literature, and media studies at the Ringling College of Art +Design, where he regularly uses graphic novels as texts for every type of class. As an international speaker on digital media and popular culture, he's been featured in over 150 newspapers worldwide, and also on such media outlets as "Coast to Coast," Sirius XM radio, FOX News, ABC News, NBC News, and CNN Headline News.

Table of Contents


    1 The Creative Process
    Isaac Asimov, "How Do People Get New Ideas?" MIT Technology Review
    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, "The Creative Personality" Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People
    Steven Johnson, "The Adjacent Possible" Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
    Tina Seelig, "Inside Out and Outside In" inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity
    D. Anthony Miles, "Creativity Theory"
    Stephanie Freeman and Wendy Rountree, "Creativity from Beyond One's Natural Grasp: Finding Your Most Creative Ideas Through Spirituality"
    Edward De Bono, "Creativity Workout" Creativity Workout: 61 Exercises to Unlock Your Most Creative Ideas

    2 Creativity Myths
    Bill Watterson, "Do You Have an Idea for a Story Yet?"
    Scott Adams, "I'm Looking for an Employee Who Is Creative"
    Scott Berkun, "Good Ideas are Hard to Find" The Myths of Innovation
    Judith Schlesinger, "Blind Men and Elephant Parts" The Insanity Hoax: Exposing the Myth of the Mad Genius
    Todd Dewett, "The Five Marks of Real Innovators"

    3 The Creative Workplace
    Richard Florida, "Managing Creativity" The Rise of the Creative Class
    Ed Catmull, "Fear and Failure" Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
    Tina Seelig, "The Table Kingdom" inGenius: Crash Course on Creativity
    Todd Dewett, "Behold the Magic Graph"
    Todd Dewett, "Long Live the Organizational Deviant"
    Tom Fishburne, "The 8 Types of Bad Creative Critics"

    4 Collaboration and Creativity
    Joshua Wolf Shenk, "The Power of Two" The Atlantic
    Keith Sawyer, "Small Sparks" Group Genius
    Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson, "Collaboration in the Sandbox" Innovate the Pixar Way: Business Lessons from the World's Most Creative Corporate Playground
    Hugh Hart, "Yes, and . . . 5 More Lessons in Improv-ing Collaboration and Creativity from Second City" www.fastcocreate.com

    5 Creativity and the Arts
    Howard Gardner, "Creativity across the Domains" Creating Minds
    Ben Shahn, "On Nonconformity" The Shape of Content
    Ellen Langer, "The More We Know the More Blind We Become" On Becoming an Artist
    Henriette Klauser, "Going to the Movies: Creative Visualization and Writing" Writing on Both Sides of the Brain

    6 The Creative Genius
    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, "Where Is Creativity?" Creativity
    Nancy C. Andreasen, "Secrets of the Creative Brain" The Atlantic
    Phillippe Petit, "Chaos & Order" Creativity

    7 Creativity Strategies and Hacks
    A.J. Jacobs, "How to Be More Creative" Real Simple
    Scott Berkun, "Creative Thinking Hacks" The Myths of Innovation
    The Creative Group, "Innovation in the House: Creativity Lessons from Five Top In-House Creative Teams"
    Ed Goodman and Dave Goodman, "The Spiral Thinking Guide"

    Appendix A: Researching and Writing About Creativity
    Appendix B: Answers to Puzzles and Games


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