University of Iowa

Memoir on the Brink: Emergency, Extremity, and Big Changes

Weeklong July 08 to July 13 2018

The experiences we need to write about the most can be the hardest to address. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways of writing about life events that we’re still figuring out. How can you tell a story when you don’t know how it ends? What language can reflect situations that seem impossible to describe? What emerges in emergency? Inspired by how writers have approached illness, grief, and other major transitions, we’ll write several short pieces that explore our ongoing experiences, and we’ll give one another feedback about longer work in progress (or about ideas for future writing). The topics will depend on the participants, but the method should be suitable for writers who are thinking about many types of experience; it will include consideration of common narrative patterns and how we can use or re-invent them. The environment will be supportive, inquisitive, and committed to helping us write about what matters most. Participants of all backgrounds and levels of experience are welcome.