Danita Berg is the co-author and co-editor of Creative Composition: Inspiration and Techniques for Writing Instruction. Her essays and short stories have appeared in anthologies and literary magazines including Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change; Other Orlandos: An Anthology; Press Pause Moments: Essays About Life Transitions by Women Writers; Redivider; Southern Women’s Review, and others. From 2012-2020, she was the founder and non-fiction editor of Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine, which drew 5,000 subscribers. She has taught writing at the Florida Institute of Technology, Oklahoma City University, Eckerd College, and the University of South Florida. Before becoming a professor, she was a marketing writer at a major university and journalist with newspapers in Indiana and Florida.
- PhD, English: Composition and Rhetoric, University of South Florida
- MFA in Creative Writing, Goddard College
- MA in English/Creative Writing, University of South Florida
- BA in English/Creative Writing, University of South Florida
- BS in Journalism, Ball State University
Areas of Expertise
- Writing Pedagogy
- Creative Nonfiction
Like many teachers of writing, I believe that all writing is creative writing, an activity that engages the imagination, stirs the passions, exercises critical thinking, fosters new knowledge, and deepens understanding. Having studied, written in, and taught numerous and varied writing genres, I have come to appreciate how important it is that writers experience each of these subjective, intellectual processes as they write in any genre.
I also believe that writing is a social act, not only because it is a means of communicating but also because of the social and intellectual processes involved. For me, writing is a process that allows for discovery, collaboration, critical reflection, and change. My students strive to master this process through classroom interaction, peer workshop groups, individual instructor/student conferences, and time for reflection before revision. Each student discovers his/her/their own philosophy of effective writing based on his/her/their critical interpretation of different genres presented in class, and is empowered to write because of the collaborative emphasis of each class. Students learn to write not to impress the instructor, but for an audience, utilizing the feedback of students to understand what is working well in their writing, and what could be improved through revision.
I feel my strength in teaching in this manner is my understanding of several genres. Because my background includes extensive professional experience — from journalism to marketing, from creative writing to online writing — I offer a unique ability to move between genres and teach students to do the same. My background has allowed me to successfully teach several different writing courses, from freshman composition to technical and professional writing to creative writing in several genres, as well as to advise student journalists and assist with creative theses.
Creative Composition: Inspiration and Techniques for Writing Instruction. With Lori A. May. Multilingual Matters; May 2015.
Preface. Creative Writing in the Real World: A Reader for Writers. By Shawn Kerivan. Auburn, AL: New Plains Press, 2012. 7. Print.
Interview. The Low-Residency MFA Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Creative Writing Students. Ed. Lori A. May. Bloomsbury Academic, 2011.
“Orlando, Bloom.” Other Orlandos. Anthology. Ed. Leslie Salas. Burrow Press, August 2017.
“It Is Not Flesh and Blood, But the Heart.” Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change. December 2014. MuseWrite Press.
“The Fixer-Upper.” Desiring Motherhood: A Special Edition of Literary Mama. October 2014.
“Gator, Land.” Saw Palm, 2013.
“Talking to Myself.” Skirt! Magazine, November 2011.
“Tadpoles.” Press Pause Moments: Essays about Life Transitions by Women Writers. Ed. Anne Witkavitch. New Haven, CT: Kiwi Publishing. September 2010.
“Head of the House.” Sugar Mule, August 2010, and Ain’t Nobody That Can Sing Like Me: An Oklahoma Writing Anthology. Ed. Jeanetta Calhoun Mish. Albuquerque, N.M.: Mongrel Empire Press. December 2010.
“Highway Robbery.” Ghost Parachute, November 2016.
“Married Go Round.” The Black Market Review, spring 2011.
“Lavatory.” Quay: A Journal of the Arts, spring 2011.
“Renters.” The Houston Literary Review, November 2010.
“Creature Comforts.” Redivider, Fall 2004.
Writing Commons Blog. Stedman, K. (2015) Episode 11: Composing Creatively.
The Drunken Odyssey with John King, A Podcast About the Writing Life. King, John. (2015) Episode 170.
“The Online Workshop: Bringing the Traditional into the Digital Era.” Creative Writing Studies Organization Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, March 2020.
“Vision/Revision: Performing Creative Writing Genres in the Composition Classroom.” Co-Chair. College English Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, March 2019.
“Speaking New Languages: Interdisciplinary Practices in Writing Classrooms.” College English Association Annual Conference, St. Petersburg, FL. April 2018.
“Critical Mass: How to Organize a Hot Literary Scene Wherever You Are.” The Association for Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference, Tampa, FL. March 2018.
“Comics, Films, Songs, and More: Multimodality in Creative Writing and Composition Courses.” The Association for Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA, March-April 2016.
“From Teen to Tenure: Giving, Receiving, and Making the Most of Peer Review.” The Association for Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, March 2012.
“Using Creative Writing Concepts to Teach Expository Writing.” Gulf Coast Association of Creative Writing Teachers. University of South Alabama, Fairhope, AL, April 2011.
“Re-Composing: Integrating Creative Writing into Composition Pedagogy.” National Council of Teaching English Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, November 2010.