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Top 50+ creative writing professors on Twitter

Posted by Delia Cabe  May 22, 2012 10:12 AM

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260/365 Follow Us on Twitter
Writers love Twitter. The reason? We work in solitary confinement--a short distance from the fridge and coffeemaker and often with a dog or cat or two to keep us company while we stare at a screen. Twitter is our water cooler, our cocktail party, our cafe. So when we need a break and want to talk about books and other things literary, many of us turn to Twitter. And with its 140-character limit, Twitter sharpens our wordsmithing and can even be a source of inspiration.

You don't have to be a professor or even a writer to follow these authors. Following them is like being part of a literary salon--thoughtful conversation sprinkled with irony and wit. You may find that you're buying more books as a result. Thanks to Ken Calhoun, a fiction writer and professor of design and new media at Lasell College, for alerting me to this list of top 50 creative writing professors on Twitter. The list includes me--much to my surprise in the esteemed company of authors I love.

Besides me, the list includes the following descriptions of these locals:

  • @WordsAndEggs. Lesley Yoder @ Boston University. Creative writing and French professor Lesley Yoder tweets about typography, pop culture, her crafty side projects, her daily life and fun French things. She's also been on Rate My Professor's list of hottest profs for the last six years!
  • @Williams_Paige. Paige Williams @ Harvard University. Intelligent posting and retweeting make up this professor's regularly updated stream. You'll be glad you followed.
  • @CorinneDemas Corinne Demas @ Mount Holyoke College. This college English professor is the author of a new novel, "The Writing Circle", and a tweeter of moderate frequency. Her posts are warm, positive, and speak highly of others and volumes about her writing process.

And these authors/creative writing professors as well (WorldWideLearn's descriptions):


  • @SalmanRushdie. Salman Rushdie @ Emory University. Brilliant and famous author of books like "Midnight's Children," Salman Rushdie not only teaches, he tweets! Follow him for prose, politics and updates on international news and writing alike.

  • @Shteyngart. Gary Shteyngart @ Columbia University. Witty observations often accompanied by pictures, pop culture and retweets. You won't be bored following this professor and author of the new book "Super Sad True Love Story."

  • @JCBaggott. Julianna Baggott @ Florida State University. With tweets often intellectual enough to make you feel you're in an online college course, author of the new book "Pure," Julianna Baggott is a regular tweeter and good interacter. Book reviews and stunning insights, this author/professor will class up your stream.

  • @elizmccracken. Elizabeth McCrackin @ University of Texas at Austin. Incredibly frequent, funny, informative and interactive -- author of "An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir," Elizabeth McCracken gives you everything you could want from a good Twitter stream. P.S. McCracken hails from the Boston area.

  • @Benjamin_Percy. Benjamin Percy @ Iowa State University. Self-proclaimed as both side-burned and growly-voiced this author/professor has written two award-winning novels, most recently "The Wilding"; freelances for Esquire, GQ, Outside, and Men's Journal; and tweets earthily and intelligently.
  • @RobtOlenButler. Robert Olen Butler @ Florida State University. Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist and professor to boot -- you can find nuggets of writing wisdom and much more following him.

  • @AManetteAnsay. A. Manette Ansay @ University of Miami. This Miami professor and author tweets about being a mother, writing, yoga and new trends in the literary world.


To this list, I add these other faves of mine:

  • @MarieMyungOKLee @ Brown University. This novelist and essayist tweets about writing, teaching, literature and much more.
  • @TracyLStrauss teaches writing @ Lesley University. She also is a Pushcart Prize Nominee for nonfiction for her essay, The Wreck.
  • @HalAckerman
  • @ UCLA, where he is co-chair of the screenwriting program. His latest and just published novel is Stein, Stung. He is new to Twitter. (He'll be doing a reading at the Harvard Coop on June 29.)
  • @Tayari @ Rutgers-Newark University and a 2011-2012 Radcliffe Institute Fellow. Novelist Tayari Jones is known on Twitter for her wit, smarts and just plain fun observations. She is on a book tour for the release of the paperback edition of her novel, Silver Sparrow.
  • @KaylieJones @ Long Island University's Southampton campus. Author of the memoir Lies My Mother Never Told Me, she tweets about writing and travel. She also holds a black belt in karate and is the daughter of the novelist James Jones.
  • @BenoitDLewis @ Emerson and Northeastern. In addition to writing for the New York Times, he is the author of American Voyeur and American Anonymous. His tweets of late will take you along on his cross-country trip with his dog because he is working on his next book about dogs in America.
  • @_JoyCastro @ University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Memoirist and essayist Joy Castro is tweeting from Seville, Spain, lately. You can enjoy her travels through her tweets. Her photos are beautiful.
  • @EliseBlackwell @ University of South Carolina. A novelist, Blackwell talks literature, writing, and books, with forays into art, music, science, curiosities. She also tweets about literature in translation.

You can peruse the Top 50 list on WorldWideLearn, which includes my entry.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Delia Cabe's work has appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Magazine, Self, Prevention, Scientific American Presents, and other publications. In between posts, you can read Cabe's tweets at http://twitter.com/#!/DeliaCabe, More »

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