University of Iowa

Charles Holdefer

Charles Holdefer (M.F.A., The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop; Ph.D., Sorbonne) is the author of Magic Even You Can Do (flash fiction, 2019) and George Saunders’ Pastoralia: Bookmarked (nonfiction, 2018), as well as four novels, including The Contractor (2007), which was an American Booksellers Association “Book Sense Pick.” This novel has been translated into several languages. His short fiction won a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in the New England Review, North American Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Slice and elsewhere. He also writes essays and reviews for New York Journal of Books, Entropy, Dactyl Review, and The Collagist. He teaches at the University of Poitiers, France. Visit him online at


Instructor Events

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Charles Holdefer

Telling a story well requires a sure touch with narration, characterization and dialogue. But how do you find the right balance? This is a nuts-and-bolts craft workshop that welcomes fiction writers of all levels. We’ll look at brief samples from contemporary writers (Zadie Smith, George Saunders, et al.) and do several exercises that will allow participants to generate new writing or to experiment with their own work-in-progress. Each writer will also be invited to workshop a short story, novel excerpt, or hybrid text.