UNC Wilmington Faculty Release Revised and Expanded Anthology of Creative Writing

Monday, July 27, 2009

What began eight years ago as a textbook featuring the writing of 11 University of North Carolina Wilmington faculty members is now a 432-page anthology of award-winning published works and essays on how to create them. Illuminating the fundamentals of writing fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry, the sixth edition of Show & Tell: Writers on Writing guides readers through practical and inspiring conversations with faculty, visiting writers and alumni.

The new edition, due out in August, has come a long way since its initial 2001 impression, published under the visionary guidance of former visiting professor Stanley Colbert. Wrapped in a no-frills paper cover and produced on demand in the department's then-fledgling Publishing Laboratory, founded by Colbert, the first edition was sold exclusively to UNC Wilmington students enrolled in the Intro to Creative Writing course. With each incarnation, editors have added a handful of new contributors, but this edition marks a major overhaul and the first to add so many new authors.

Now featuring more than 30 contributors, the sixth edition constitutes virtually a new book and reflects a thriving creative community, collecting side by side the work of 18 faculty members (Wendy Brenner, Clyde Edgerton, Philip Gerard), five visiting writers (Virginia Holman, George Singleton, Peter Trachtenberg) and five published alumni (Brad Land, Derek Nikitas).

Many of the book's longtime contributors, among them some of the finest contemporary American writers, have replaced previous selections with recent, award-winning work. New stories, essays and poems have been anthologized in the Best American and Pushcart Prize series and have garnered the prestigious National Magazine Award.

Unlike most publishers, The Publishing Laboratory—a book imprint that involves students of creative writing in the art and business of publishing—had the advantage of studying its textbook in use, as well as access to valuable feedback from veteran instructors and Master of Fine Arts students, many of whom teach sections of the introductory course. At their behest, editors working with pub lab director Emily Smith solicited and added essays on grammar, revision and the art of editing, as well as a glossary of essential terms. MFA students Tom Dunn, Corinne Manning, Erin Sroka and Jennifer Weathers shepherded the book through the copyediting, proofreading and design process.

Although Show & Tell has wide application in the classroom, it will appeal to all readers of contemporary literature. The creative selections alone—more than 30 stories, essays and groups of poems—provide an excellent introduction to the department's growing and talented community of writers. Also new to the sixth edition, "After Words" reveal the authors' fascinations and vulnerabilities, offering rare glimpses into how the selections came to fruition.

Still the primary textbook for students in the popular introductory writing course, the book has now been adopted by several other universities and is available to general readership in both regional bookstores and national chains. The book is distributed to the trade by John F. Blair.

University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Creative Writing
Trade paperback, 5.5 x 8.5, 432 pages. $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-9823382-0-9 • Review copies available upon request

For more information, contact Emily Smith in The Publishing Laboratory at 910.962.7401, smithel@uncw.edu, or call the UNCW Department of Creative Writing at 910.962.7063.