University of Iowa

Ian Stansel

Ian Stansel is the author of the novel The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) and the short story collection Everybody’s Irish (FiveChapters, 2013), a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous venues such as Ploughshares, Salon, Joyland, The Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere. A native of the Chicago area, he holds an M.F.A. from The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Louisville. He lives in Kentucky with his wife, the writer Sarah Strickley, and their two daughters.

Instructor Events

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Ian Stansel

In this workshop, we will look at first chapters of published novels, discussing strategies for engaging readers, setting tone, planting seeds of future plot points, developing characters, and generally writing captivating opening pages. We will also workshop student first chapters, analyzing them in the context of what we’ve learned from successfully published work. But an opening is just a start—we’ll also discuss what comes next. While all writing should be a process of discovery, for many writers a novel needs a bit more planning.