University of Iowa

Fiction Strategies for the Nonfiction Memoirist

Weeklong June 16 to June 21 2019

Are you working on a memoir? This course is designed for you. It will also be useful to any writer interested in exploring how fictional strategies help us get our personal stories effectively across to the reader.


We’ll study published examples that incorporate specific tools of craft, and daily writing exercises ask you to apply these techniques to your own writing. These assignments, shared in a workshop forum, include how to build scenes using remembered moments, how point of view applies to the nonfiction writer, and how to move effectively between scene and summary and—in that ingredient essential to any memoir—reflection. Class discussion includes the subject of personal style as well as the application of these techniques to your particular manuscript. Come prepared to read and write daily; you will leave with powerful tools to improve your entire manuscript.


In this workshop we will generate new writing through guided exercises and prompts.