The University of Iowa

Creating Character in Creative Nonfiction

Weekend June 20 to June 21 2020

One of the challenges for the essayist and memoirist is translating real-life people onto the page, not the least of which is you: the main character. Even if you have a great story, readers need to trust the one telling it. Remember: you are both the writer and the narrator. In this generative weekend, you will learn how to propel your characters into moving, speaking, and creating tension in your story. You will also discover how your narrative voice can acquire a greater authority by revealing your own doubts, foibles, and epiphanies. Expect to write in and outside of class. You will leave with at least two fresh scenes and a new authority in your narrative voice. For novice and experienced nonfiction writers. Expect to be surprised.


In this workshop, we will generate new writing through exercises and assignments; provide feedback on writing you produce in our weekend.