We’re very excited that our new culture analytics essay on creativity and MFA programs, as well as issues of gender and racial diversity in publishing, has been published at the Atlantic Monthly. We use text mining techniques to reveal some troubling patterns in creative writing today, and tell a new story about institutions and creativity. In the next week or so, we’ll be publishing more details and findings about our experiment.
Donate your ideas to science not Facebook! Every day we post valuable information to social media sites. These platforms use that information to learn all sorts of things about us. But they never share that learning back with us. We want to start a new culture of idea donation in which the knowledge gained is given back to you the participants.
Have you ever written a novel or a short story and had it rejected? We want to hear from you!
In this project, we’re interested in understanding what makes a work of creative writing pass through the gatekeepers of editors, publishers, and marketing departments. What are they selecting for? Does anyone on the outside really know?
We have lots of examples of things that have been successfully published. New novels, new short stories appear every day. But what we can’t see are the piles and piles of rejected manuscripts from which the successful ones are chosen.
Knowing how these choices are made can help aspiring writers of the future navigate these filters better (assuming it isn’t random, but we might learn that too!). But it can also give us a critical lens through which to view the often narrow ways we think about creativity today.
If you want to donate your manuscript to our project, please send it as word document along with a copy of your rejection letter/email (if you received one) to:
Of course, if your material becomes a part of our published study, we will not include any information about your name or identity – everything will be kept anonymous.
And we will definitely share our findings with you.
Richard Jean So