University of Iowa

Charles Holdefer

Charles Holdefer (M.F.A., The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop; Ph.D., Sorbonne) is the author of five novels, including Bring Me the Head of Mr. Boots (2019) and The Contractor (2007), which was an American Booksellers Association “Book Sense Pick.” His latest collection of short fiction, Agitprop for Bedtime, is forthcoming in 2020. His has won a Pushcart Prize and his stories have appeared in the New England Review, North American Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Slice, and elsewhere. He also writes essays and reviews, and 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.