University of Iowa

Get In, Get Out, Go On: A Short Story and Novel Workshop

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019

Taking Raymond Carver’s advice as our point of departure (“Get in, get out. Don’t linger. Go on.”) we will explore the virtues of writing short stories, short exercises, and other short forms, and the downside of “lingering” in fiction. We will operate as a traditional workshop, where we will discuss and critique work brought from home, but we will also complete several in-class exercises and prompts that will challenge us to go on to the next story: no dilly-dallying, no lollygagging, no time to plan things out in advance, no waiting around so long that our doubts have time to get the best of us, the way those doubts always do. We will also discuss the importance of having several short “read aloud” pieces in your repertoire, why it’s helpful to think of your story as an “exercise,” and why you should take every opportunity to present your work to an audience. Required: participants will bring copies of an original short story or novel chapter of 12-20 pages in length.


In this workshop we will generate new writing through guided exercises and prompts; provide feedback on writing you bring from home; provide feedback on writing you produce in our week.     

Short Story