The University of Iowa

Novel in a Week

Weeklong June 14 to June 19 2020

National Novel Writing Month, move over. June is the new November. While we may not actually write an entire novel in a week, we will create a skeleton of a novel that we can take home to develop and finish. During our week together, we will share plot outlines, write or revise first chapters, write and share climactic scenes, and come up with possible endings. We will discuss various elements of the novel, such as plot, pacing, characterization, point of view, dialogue, and the dance between narration and dramatization, and do exercises and assignments on these elements, which we will then provide and receive feedback on in a supportive and stimulating environment. The goal will be to leave the week with a strong plot outline, a beginning, middle, and end, and the tools and inspiration to finish our novels.


This course is for intermediate and advanced writers who can come to Iowa City with an idea for a novel or even a plot outline (which Kelly will describe in her letter). After that, our focus will be on generating new material.


In this workshop, we will generate new writing through exercises and assignments; provide feedback on writing you produce in our week.

Short Story
Young Adult