A Special Issue of TEXT Journal of Writing and Writing Courses
Deadline for EOIs: 29 May 2023.
This Special Issue seeks to explore the experience of the place of writing. Much has been written about how writers immerse themselves and ‘feel’ – even vicariously in recent years – in/to the place/s their stories are set. But little scholarly attention has been given to the writer’s place, where the works are often ‘written up’.
Yi-Fu Tuan clarifies in differentiating ‘space’ from ‘place’:
Place has a history and meaning. Place incarnates the experiences and aspirations of a people. Place is not only a fact to be explained in the broader frame of space, but it is also a reality to be clarified and understood from the perspectives of the people who have given it meaning.(Tuan 1979:387).
This Special Issue seeks contributions from writers (of creative nonfiction, fiction, academic writing, poetry/poetics, life/self-writing) as to the meaning attached to their place of writing.
Malcolm Holz (2022) suggests that as many writers work alone, a large space may not be required to be most creative/productive, rather, that it is often the small place, the archetypal writer-hermit’s hut in the wild, where many influential (and infamous) writers retreated. Martin Heidegger, for example, produced most of his vast works in a hut in the Black Forest (Sharr 2006). Virginia Woolf’s (1929) classic essay illuminated the significance of having ‘a room of one’s own’ in which to write.
This provocation/invitation for contributors is centred on the phenomenology – the phenomenological experience – of the writer’s place. Potential contributors might like to consider:
- What are the characteristics of the writer’s (preferred or limited) place of writing, and how important is the articulation/decoration/function of that place in the creative process e.g., the writer’s chair, desk, bookcase, pictures, music, temperature?
- What is the writer’s experience – how does the writer ‘feel’ when writing – and how does the place of writing influence that experience, the creative process, and creative outputs; can the place be imagined/ virtual; how does technology affect the planning or design of the writing space; what does writing in that place smell or taste like?
- Does the writer (or their editor?) feel that the work created in a place of the writer’s own making is of a higher quality than if produced in a place they would prefer not to be?
- Is the writer’s place only/solely the mind/body, and if so, what goes on in writing in that place?
This Special Issue of TEXT is seeking, but is not limited to, creative works and scholarly studies in the coalescence of the psychological space and the physical place of writing. Where do writers go: is it alone in their head, or bed; down the hall, or beside the pool; perhaps on the veranda, or in a fold-up chair by the beach, or a hut in the mountains? What is it about that place which attracts, and what happens – what is the writer’s experience – when the writer gets ‘t/here’?
How to submit your expression of interest:
Please submit a 200-word Expression of Interest by email to Malcolm Holz with ‘The Writer’s Place’ as the subject line. In your EOI please outline how your paper or work(s) explore(s) aspects of the experience of the writer’s place. Please also include the following information: your full name, institutional affiliation (if any), email address, title of paper/work, brief biography (50–100 words), and 3 to 5 keywords (at least 2 of which should clearly relate to the issue’s title).
Deadline for EOIs: 29 May 2023.
Deadline for finished works/papers: 31 July 2023.
Enquiries: Malcolm Holz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Holz, M. (2022) (Re)creative reflective writing in Focus and Flow: towards a timeless way of Being
Paper presented at Australasian Association of Writing Programs Annual Conference, Fire Country, University of the Sunshine Coast, November 2022
Sharr, A. (2009) Heidegger’s hut
MIT Press, Massachusetts
Tuan, Yi-Fu. (1979) Space and Place: Humanistic Perspective
In Gale, S. & Olsson, G. (Eds.) Philosophy in Geography
D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland. pp. 387-427
Woolf, V. (1929) A room of one’s own
Hogarth Press, England