University of Iowa

Loosen Your Hand

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019

Good writing is the fruit of both the conscious and the unconscious minds. Sometimes we forget this. We privilege the intellect; we think that if we just think hard enough we can “figure this out.” Our hand grows stiff, our writing forced. In fact, much of our best work is produced when we’re looking the other way.


This workshop is open to fiction writers of all levels who sometimes get stuck. We will discuss the reasons we may stiffen up and the methods great writers have used throughout history to “to tap into the flow.” Next, we will work on loosening your own hand through a series of generative practices, from exercises inspired by the automatic writing of the Surrealists to copying out the work of writers you love.


The goal of the workshop is to have you walk away with a kit of tricks and techniques to put into practice every time you seize up.


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

Short Story