Russell Celyn Jones writing on his experiences teaching creative writing suggests that failure causes real emotional trauma among his students. And he compares the creative writing business to the business of psychotherapy, something Americans are more comfortable with than the British.
The trend in workshops, at least at a post graduate level, is towards the literary novel. Students like to experiment, keep their options open. They seem blissfully unaware of the crisis in English fiction. But I can’t help worrying about the one working on a six hundred page novel called Death of Meaning written all in dialogue between a supermarket trolley and a satellite dish. Who does he think is going to read that? Is it wrong to tell them to keep an eye on the market while also encouraging a climate of investigation?