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Presentation Details


What Do I Teach?: Taking Account of Technological Change in the Instruction of Professional Writing

J. Madison Davis.

The Professional Writing Program at the University of Oklahoma began in 1938 as a course of study for aspiring freelance writers. Oriented very much toward the commercial markets for fiction particularly, but also for other entertainment media, the program is facing a number of decisions about its curriculum. While the traditional book seems to have a place in at least the immediate future, aspiring freelance writers must be able to cope with the changes which technology are bringing to storytelling in our culture. It is obvious that technology changes not only the delivery of written entertainment storytelling, but the storytelling itself. Examples of previous changes in form and style are familiar in the history of written storytelling from the epic poem to the rise of the serial novel. In order to prepare student storytellers for a supportable future, instructors are forced to consider a number of crucial issues about how the delivery of their medium will be affected by such possibilities as print on demand and e-books. No less significant is the effect of new media on what the audience will find appealing in a book. The audience is just as changed by technology as the storytelling medium itself.


J. Madison Davis  (United States)
Professor, Professional Writing Program
Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Oklahoma

Dr. Davis is a novelist nominated for several distinguished awards in mystery writing. He has also published several nonfiction books (both scholarly and popular) and has worked in screenwriting as well. He is former president of he North American branch of the International Assoc. of Crime Writers and an award winning teacher.

  • Writing for commercial markets
  • Style in commercial fiction
  • Craft of writing
  • Teaching fiction writing
  • Entertainment writing

(Virtual Presentation, English)