Writers and teachers of fiction writing find themselves in a time when much of the received wisdom about craft is being reconsidered. They are called to critically examine such concepts as “literary fiction,” once defined by its supposed opposition to “genre fiction” (Gardner’s “junk” fiction), as well as any notion of a deracialized “pure” craft. Literary lineages are being redrawn, including more writers from communities that have been marginalized: writers who are Black or indigenous, writers of color, writers who are LGBTQ+, and writers with disabilities.
The so-called “Iowa model,” which more or less created the template for writing pedagogy, may finally be giving way to a more student-centered approach. By investing in collection development in fiction craft, academic libraries can ensure that writers, teachers, and students will be equipped to engage with these issues, to draw advice from a variety of perspectives, and to thrive as artists and educators.