Writers as performers: Developing reflexive and creative writing identities

Mary Ryan*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Writing is a complex and learned activity in that it requires us to shape our thoughts into words and texts that are appropriate for the purpose, audience and medium of a variety of communicative forms. Writers must constantly make decisions about how to represent their subject matter and themselves through language. In this way, writing can be conceptualised as a performance whereby writers shape and represent their identities as they mediate social structures and personal considerations. In this paper I use theories of reflexivity and discourse to analyse interviews and writing samples of culturally and linguistically diverse Australian primary students for evidence of particular kinds of writing identities. Findings indicate a clear influence of particular teaching strategies and contexts on the writing identities of students. I argue that making students aware of their writing choices, the influences on, and the potential impact of those choices on themselves, their text and their audience, is a new imperative in the teaching of writing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)130-148
    Number of pages19
    JournalEnglish Teaching
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


    • Writing identities
    • writer as performer
    • reflexive writers
    • creative writers
    • writing pedagogy
    • diverse writers


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