University of Iowa

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Mieke Eerkens

Shopping list as short story. Death certificate as personal narrative. Map as manifesto. Where once writers were expected to stay inside genre lines and adhere firmly to traditional presentation of their material, contemporary writers increasingly challenge these rigid notions, insisting that the thoughtful exploration of a subject can be enhanced by a complementary form to add additional layers of meaning. Today’s prose might therefore borrow the formats of poetry or drama to most effectively make its point.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Eric Goodman

This weekend workshop is designed for prose writers of all levels, scribblers of fiction or creative nonfiction who would like to learn how to be funny, or in many cases, funnier, on the page. Whether a writer’s intentions are ultimately serious or light-hearted, being able to make readers laugh is a sure way to attract and to hold their attention. If a writer can amuse readers they’ll follow you straight to the cash register. Just ask Sedaris. This class will be generative, beginning with short readings and exercises.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sands Hall

Whether we’re working on stories or a novel, a memoir or creative nonfiction, it’s essential to understand point of view. Yet the topic can seem vast and inchoate—or so simplistic that it’s possible to wonder what the fuss is about. This course is designed to clarify this delightful aspect of all creative writing, and to give you tools to delve into this rewarding piece of craft. With the help of published examples, we’ll examine various options and strategies, and the reasons for selecting one particular POV over another.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Christine Hemp

This class is for anyone passionate about the short form who wants to create—in one weekend—a suite of three related pieces 300 words or less. We will read the new New York Times “Tiny Modern Love” pieces, Beth Ann Fennelly’s micros from Heating and Cooling, and other short-shorts from Brevity Magazine and Hippocampus.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jim Heynen

In this workshop, we’ll confront the challenge of writing emotional scenes—or emotional moments—whether they are in fiction, nonfiction or poetry. How can we be sincere about our own or a character’s emotions without appearing sentimental or garish? We’ll confront some of these challenging questions, we’ll look at some successful models, and we’ll see if we can apply successful techniques while still being true to the emotions we hope to deliver to our readers.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Zach Savich

Creative nonfiction is about more than what happened. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to enhance essays, memoirs, and other forms of narrative nonfiction by using techniques that deepen our prose’s significance and resonance. We’ll take inspiration from a capacious range of essays, as well as from fiction, poetry, and other arts. Participants will complete new writing activities, receive feedback about past work they wish to share (optional), and discuss published works by diverse writers.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sandra Scofield

If you have written, are writing, or want to write a novel, you are thinking of All Those Pages. But the secret to a novel that flies is knowing exactly what it's about, and being able to convey that succinctly. I call that “Aboutness.” An agent or editor needs it in a query. A reader will sense it and talk about it to others. Most of all, you need it as a North Star to guide your writing. And you will write it this weekend! You will learn to use a 9-slot plot template; a logline; and a summary map.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Thomas K. Dean

Most writers want to write sentences that are clear and that communicate their intended meaning well. Certainly editors are looking for that! Much of a writer’s creativity lies in his or her talent for choosing words imaginatively. But much of your style also depends on some technicalities about what kind of word forms you choose and where you put them in your sentences.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Vince Gotera

Many beginning poets become quickly proficient with alliteration—the repetition of beginning sounds in nearby words—”lurk late” or “strike straight” or “jazz June” (examples from the poem “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks). The problem is, they begin to overuse alliteration and rely on it too much.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Ami Silber

One of the most essential components of writing and selling fiction is how quickly and strongly you’re able to snare your audience. Ensuring you have a clear and exciting elevator pitch is one of the tools fiction authors need, not only for garnering outside interest in your work, but also as a means of strengthening your own writing. In this workshop, we will discuss three components that assist us in selling our books to readers, agents, editors, and ourselves with highly-crafted, sharply-honed elevator pitches.

Weekend June 15 to June 16 2019
Instructor(s): 
Hope Edelman

“You couldn’t write a story that happened nowhere,” Eudora Welty has famously said. Every story takes place somewhere. But too often, writers don’t allow for or don’t recognize how important Place is to their stories. The same is true for Time, which is overlooked even more often. This workshop acknowledges that narratives unfold within a context of geography, time period, and culture. What happened to you in the past probably could not have happened to you quite that way at any other time or in any other place.