University of Iowa

Novel Manuscript Workshop

Two-Weeklong July 08 to July 20 2018

Admission to this workshop is by application only. Enrollment is limited to ten. To apply, submit twenty pages of your novel, a two-page synopsis, and a personal statement that explains what you hope to get from the workshop. All of these items—your novel excerpt, synopsis and personal statement—*must* be double-spaced and in 12-point type.


The deadline to apply is April 19. See bottom of page in Registration Information, for further details specific to Two-Week Intensive Workshops.


This class is for novelists, whatever the genre...realist, comedic, fantasy, historical, crime, or speculative. Our focus these two weeks is the art and craft of writing fiction. Each writer in the group is an individual artist writing a unique book, and workshops will address the issues and demands specific to each novel under discussion.


In this intensive session, we will workshop novel manuscripts between 35,000-75,000 words (c. 115-250 pages, based on 300 words per page). Ideally you’ve completed a full draft of your novel, or you have a substantial “working” manuscript in progress.


Seminar portions of the class explore aspects of technique in depth and in detail: point of view, narrative structure, the emotional and dramatic moment within scenes, texture and clarity in setting and characterization, the fundamentals of dialogue, and the possibilities of language.


Members of this workshop should be committed to the citizenship of this particular course. Manuscripts will be circulated and read in advance of our meeting in Iowa City. Writers are responsible for careful reading of each other’s manuscripts and giving extensive and considered feedback.


Useful preparation: Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer.