University of Iowa

After the Bell: A Workshop for Schoolteachers

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019

Before I came to Iowa, back in the South Carolina county where I grew up, I became a teacher. Specifically, I taught those who had left school early on and later decided to give education a second look. Those brave, funny students—no one has taught me more. What exactly I learned is a question worth a lifetime. For one weekend at least, let’s write in the company of fellow teachers. Together, let’s give our school experiences a good airing-out. What sustained us in that complex microcosm known as the classroom? What are the frustrations and challenges reflected in today’s day-to-day routine? Whether you are a fiction writer, using an urban school as your setting; whether you are creating a memoir of your own days as a student; or whether your poems best capture what it feels like to be behind the desk, this weekend is for you. No previous writing is required, but feel free to bring something you are working on. Bring photos, journal entries, and a lot of blank pages. Plan to fill them up, as we begin with tried-and-true writing prompts, sending us back into the classroom for a second look. Writers at all levels of experience, and in any genre, are most welcome.


In this workshop we will generate new writing through guided exercises and prompts; provide feedback on writing you bring from home or produce in our weekend.