Australian Writing Programs Network (CG642): Final Report

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Abstract

The Australian Writing Programs Network (AWPN), commenced in January 2007, was funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, to build on the strengths and ameliorate the challenges of creative writing research training, at a national level. The project involved the design, construction and maintenance of an interactive online Network to contribute to the learning experiences of postgraduate creative writing students. Specific elements to be included on the website included databases, archives of information, links to relevant sites, and online training seminars. The three stages of the project were completed on time over 18 months. Stage one included extensive research into the potential user community; stage two involved building and testing the website to near-completion; and stage three saw the completion of the website, hosted at www.writingnetwork.edu.au, and associated workshops and publications. The team continues to operate the project for the University of Canberra, the partner institutions and the Australian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP), an organisation that played a key role in the development of the project. As the project has been a collaborative effort, wider uptake of the website content among creative writing programs, and by audiences beyond the tertiary education
sector and Australia, is both a measure of the project outcomes, and in itself a process
and a mode of dissemination. The Network’s website fulfils two modes of dissemination:
the online bulletin board, and greater networking; and the repository of information
encourages “repeat business” and investment in the project. Important short-term
benefits have been delivered. The members’ database allows easy identification of
experts and interested practitioners across a range of theoretical and form-based
topics. An examiners’ database is on the website, and past and present postgraduate
students have been identified at all reference group universities, and others across
Australia. Interaction between supervisors has begun, with a very effective supervisors’
workshop which, with the annotated bibliographies deposited on the website, promotes
knowledge building about supervisory best practice. The Network’s website is linked to
the AAWP website, which has comprehensive information about grants, scholarships
and prizes.
Additional outcomes have been obtained; for example:
• students have gained a better understanding of their rights, and of what constitutes
good supervision
• there has been sustained discussion of what constitutes research in the creative
writing discipline
• the website promotes greater awareness of the research areas being explored, and
consequent opportunities for collaborative work and other linkages
• there has been high uptake for workshops, indicating that these sorts of training fora
and topics are not being addressed by individual institutions.
Many projected impacts and deliverables are long-term, and could not be effectively
evaluated over the project. To this point, however, the project has achieved excellent
results in building knowledge, capacity, and a national community. It provides a model
for networking, community-building and professional training for the creative writing
discipline. With ongoing support, it has the capacity to serve national and international
communities, not only in writing but also in other creative disciplines
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra, ACT
PublisherALTC
Pages1-48
Number of pages48
ISBN (Print)9781740882996
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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