A cognitive turn in creative writing - Cognition, body and imagination

Marcelle Freiman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The discipline of creative writing has been fairly slow to take up theoretical issues raised by the cognitive turn in literary studies, which was framed and debated as a disciplinary area in Poetics Today in 2002-2003. Yet cognitive approaches offer ways to conceptualise the nature of creative writing, contributing to quite complex articulations of what occurs in the writing process. How might consideration of the writer as whole person, in thought, feeling and action, contribute to the way we conceptualise creative writing? To what extent is writing as thought - as an embodied process of making - generated within the inner writer's mind? And, what is the relationship between thought, feeling and imagination in writing? This essay argues that cognitive science, far more than cognitive literary theory, provides new frameworks that extend the way we think about the human practice of creative writing. Drawing on research areas of situated cognition, embodied cognition, affect theory and neuroscience, the essay examines how this research can shed light on relationships of mind, thought and body to creative writing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
JournalNew Writing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2015


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