Creative Writing

Clyde Edgerton

Kenan Hall 1224 |



PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, English Education, Curriculum and Instruction, 1977
MAT, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, English Education, 1972
BA, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, English Education, 1966


PapadaddyNight TrainBible Salesmansolo
LunchtroubleRedeyeIn Memory of Junior
Killer Diller FloatplaneWalking Across EgyptRaney


On Teaching

My definition of teaching is this: "Teaching is the act of inducing students to behave in ways assumed to lead to learning." I believe students in our MFA program should think about and play with this definition as many of them will become teachers, teaching students who have varying levels of motivation and curiosity. Additionally, our program can allow students to save time—by that I mean learn their craft more quickly than they might learn it without the program. We have a very strong faculty. I believe talking about writing with faculty and with other motivated students can allow students to become confident in their beliefs about why and how they must write. I enjoy workshopping, and I encourage students to accept no advice that doesn't make sense to them, to try to observe their world as if never seen, to cause the reader to SEE, and to avoid adverbs when possible.

In addition, moving a little beyond teaching: I believe writers are on earth to observe and describe what they observe. I believe would-be writers will fade away. I believe those who write to “convince” rather than “show” should perhaps consider becoming op-ed writers, columnists, and preachers or salespeople. i

I believe that in fiction, the dramatic scene carries meaning. Did I say avoid adverbs? And adjectives? And sentence fragments? And typeoess?  


Download an excerpt of Clyde Edgerton's work (PDF).
Listen to Clyde's NPR interview of advice for new dads.