The University of Iowa

The Overstuffed Closet: A Weekend of Mini-Memoirs

Weekend July 18 to July 19 2020

We all lead multiple lives, so no wonder it’s difficult to write a single memoir. And when our own lives are the subject, we have far too many subsidiary characters and subplots and know way too many details about all of them. This makes wrestling our memories into coherent literary form a bit like trying to organize an overstuffed closet, except in literature we don’t have plastic tubs or garage sales.


In this workshop, would-be memoirists don’t have to organize the whole closet or try to make everything fit a single narrative. In and out of class, you will respond to assignments designed to help you create short pieces about significant moments. Instead of trying to write one memoir, we will begin a series of mini-memoirs to capture our multiple lives. All writers are welcome.


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