University of Iowa

Malinda McCollum

Malinda McCollum is the author of The Surprising Place, winner of the 2017 Juniper Prize in Fiction. Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, Zyzzyva, and Epoch, and been anthologized in The Paris Review Book of People with Problems and The Worst Years of Your Life.


McCollum has received the Plimpton Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. She’s a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught at The University of Iowa, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford. She currently lives in Charleston, SC, where she teaches writing at the College of Charleston.

Instructor Events

In this weekend workshop, we’ll read and write fiction that breaches the parameters of strict realism by incorporating elements of the supernatural, the shocking, and the absurd. We’ll consider the effect of using “strangeness” to draw readers in, disarm them, and reset their expectations, with the ultimate goal of more brightly illuminating the “real” conflicts we wish to explore.


Weeklong July 22 to July 27 2018

Writing can be a solitary and frustrating endeavor. It’s one reason many writers enroll in M.F.A. creative writing programs: to be part of a vibrant literary scene. Of course, not everyone can drop everything to pursue a multi-year M.F.A. With that in mind, this workshop is designed to give you a concentrated version of the close reading and community you might find in a creative writing graduate program.