University of Iowa

The Five-Day Short Story

Weeklong June 24 to June 29 2018

In this workshop, participants will write a complete short story in five days. Come armed with a character sketch, concept, or brief plot outline that you’d like to explore through fiction, and we’ll work together to craft the first draft of a story by the end of the week. (To be clear, this could simply be an idea for a story that can be expressed in a couple of sentences, so don’t despair if you’re signing up at the last minute; there will be plenty of time to adjust and refine your idea as the week progresses). Class time will be devoted to constructing scenes, solving problems, reading brief excerpts from participants’ work, creating characters, outlining plots, discussing best practices for creating a compelling story, analyzing short story structure, finding strategies to push past writer’s block, and setting specific writing goals for the following day. Participants will write or revise two to three pages per night to complete their story. Be prepared to make the most of your writing time, and to take advantage of the motivating structure that specific assignments and deadlines can provide.

Short Story