Is Creativity Best Fostered Alone, in Pairs, or in Groups?

Collaborative teams spark the most powerful creativity. So Walter Isaacson tells us, repeatedly, in The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. The power of teams was true in any form, whether it was like minds coming together through common interest, such as MIT's legendary Tech Model Railroad Club; government-funded corporate research …

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More Creatives With Multiple Talents

She is best known as "the most beautiful woman in the world," but the late silver screen star Hedy Lamarr is remembered in some circles more for the inventive genius she brought to wireless communications, decades before its time. Lamarr was an immigrant from pre-World War II Austria. She left behind a life that had …

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Creative Control in the Age of Kickstarter

How much creative control do we cede when other people's money is involved? Before I get to Kickstarter, let me throw in a historical anecdote. Galilee Galileo was not only the Father of Modern Science, he also earned a decent income from book sales. He was driven enough by profit maximization to eschew writing his …

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The Role of Structure in Creative Free Thinking

Creativity can closely resemble chaos, as it did for me last week when I watched thirty 5th-graders whirling around a classroom with cardboard, duct tape, motors, gears, string and safety scissors. I was witnessing problem solving in action, solutions borne of a broad liberty in thought framed by a specific challenge needing to be addressed. …

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A Model for Feedback on Your Creative Work

"Writing is a solitary pursuit," said award-winning author Robin Hemley, explaining why he has "no patience" for belonging to a writer's group. You might argue that Robin has reached a level in his career where he doesn't need feedback from other writers. He is an accomplished writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. He directs the …

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AWP Nugget: Tips for Writers Looking for the Tenure-Track Teaching Job

BOSTON -- You love to write. You need to earn a living. Why not teach what you love? You're not the first person to think of that. Every person with an MFA has entertained that fantasy, and many more writers beyond that. Here at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs 2013 conference, four writing …

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AWP Nugget: Hey Writers, Let’s Meet Up in Person in Seattle in 2014!

BOSTON -- One emotion I have always felt at the AWP creative writers conference is jealousy. Jealousy of the talent and success of the panelists and readers. Jealousy of the way so many writer attendees approach literary editors on the Bookfair floor without fear. But, mostly, jealousy of how so many attendees have made the …

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