Who wrote Shakespeare’s plays? A definitive statement of authorship may be hard to come by, but evidence suggests that the bard did not write alone. He co-wrote The Two Noble Kinsmen with his contemporary John Fletcher, and collaborations with actors, playwrights, and others likely informed his other works.
Authorship is not always so disputed, but Shakespeare’s case still highlights something important: Writing is often seen as a solitary pursuit, but co-authors, editors, and friends typically enrich the process. The author Erik Ofgang, for instance, wrote The Good Vices with his father. Miranda Popkey and Zan Romanoff, the novelists and close friends, similarly relied on each other for support when writing their books. A Secret Sisterhood, which is fittingly co-written by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney, examines the relationships that fueled work from literary giants such as George Eliot and Virginia Woolf.
Fan-fiction authors often find their collaborators online. Writers in the Secret Garden, by Cecilia R. Aragon and Katie Davis, details the supportive comments and constructive criticism that make fan fiction’s collaborative online forums effective teaching environments.
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Shakespeare didn’t write alone
“Plays are by their very nature collaborative, dependent not merely on a playwright’s talent but on the abilities of various theater artists and technicians to put the play onstage. Authorship is only one, though admittedly the main one, of the conditions of play-making.”