The University of Iowa

Debra Jo Immergut

Debra Jo Immergut is the author of You Again, forthcoming from Ecco/Harper Collins in 2020, and The Captives, a 2019 Edgar Award finalist for Best Debut Novel by an American Author, published in the U.S. by Ecco and in over a dozen other countries. She has also published a collection of short fiction, Private Property (Random House). Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Narrative, The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe, among others. She is a winner of Michener and McCloy Fellowships and holds an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in western Massachusetts.

Instructor Events

Weeklong July 19 to July 24 2020
Instructor(s): 
Debra Jo Immergut

Every novel should be, in some sense, a thriller—but there’s no doubt that readers and publishers endlessly crave stories that have luscious dark centers oozing with crime and intrigue. In this workshop, we’ll consider novels of suspense by authors as varied as Otessa Mossfegh, Gillian Flynn, Walter Moseley, Ian McEwan, Toni Morrison, and John LeCarre. By reading excerpts and dissecting structure and style, we’ll identify the essential components of suspense and gain a deep understanding of how to build a mystery.

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Debra Jo Immergut

When reading fiction, locating the boundary between the writer’s imagination and the writer’s reality is an endlessly fascinating and mysterious process. In this generative workshop, we’ll examine how writers can most effectively play with that boundary by fictionalizing their own experiences. We’ll explore how to dig deep into essential truths without suffering from overexposure, and how to mine our lives for the raw elements of powerful work.