University of Iowa

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Marilyn Abildskov

In this weekend course, we will look at texts that break rules: essays that read like short stories, short stories that sound like poems, prose poems that make a reader rethink what words like “poem” and “essay” and “story” mean. We will look at texts that play with borrowed forms (recipes, how-to lists, and wedding vows) and texts that push traditional boundaries of time, creating new portals into old subjects.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jonathan Blum

We use the word “I” countless times every day to refer to ourselves. But in fiction, “I” refers to something else. It refers to a storytelling creature we invent who has an identity of his or her own. In this class, which is open to writers of all experience levels, we are going to explore the possibilities of first-person singular in fiction. The class is generative; there is no need to bring anything other than your imagination. We will start out by experimenting with autobiographical voices.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Kelly Dwyer

No matter the genre in which you’re interested—literary, science fiction, paranormal, young adult, romance, etc.—you would probably think it ideal if your novel had many readers. If it attracted buzz. If it were, in other words, popular. In this weekend workshop, we’ll discuss the elements that make popular novels (across genres) so popular (according to bestseller lists and computer algorithms), and do exercises on various elements of the novel, such as character, plot, pacing, theme, style, etc., to increase the odds that your own novels will be widely read.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Katie Ford

In this generative weekend course, we will spend the majority of each session writing from original prompts designed to wrench you out of your ruts and open you to the vast array of poetic shapes and styles. To that end, you’ll receive a selection of poems throughout the weekend that we will discuss in order to ignite our creativity toward our own new drafts. A wide variety of exercises will be practiced, with a goal of twelve new “starts” or drafts.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Allen Gee

Every writer applying for an M.F.A. struggles to know how to put together a strong application, especially if you’re the first family member to apply to graduate school, or if you’ve been away from academia, or if you weren’t an English major. What goes into the application from the cover letter, to the resume or c.v., to recommendation letters and the personal statement, and of course, what should the writing sample look like?

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Michael Morse

In Exercises in Style, Raymond Queneau re-imagines one brief narrative in 99 different versions. We won’t get that obsessive in our weekend together, but we will read a number of poets from different “schools” and carefully listen to different modes of expression that can help us re-work our own poems. How might Romantic, Modernist, Confessional, Objectivist, New York School, and Oulipo voices help us to see our subjects and our language differently?

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Amy Butcher

Once upon a time, long before the Age of Oprah, writers who had lived through something fascinating or terrible or both would turn their experiences into exaggerated works and call them fiction. Nowadays, however, these experiences equally take the form of memoir—ruminative, retrospective narratives that comprise a sub-genre of the diverse and expansive genre we typically call creative nonfiction. What does this mean?

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Hugh Ferrer

Plot and character may drive the action in most fiction, but time-management and “camerawork” are crucial for enriching the story and drawing a reader in. This weekend session is open to all levels, but will be particularly useful for writers who feel comfortable with the basics and are looking for techniques to make their storytelling more dynamic, dynamic because time-management and camerawork thrive on variation, as much as on consistency.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Marc Nieson

From Melville’s white whale to Walker’s color purple. Woolf’s lighthouse to Carver’s cathedral. Basho’s pond. Frost’s forked path. Naipaul’s river bend. Macdonald’s hawk. Whitehead’s underground railroad. We all recognize the precision and poignancy of these metaphors. Those crystalline choices their creators made to deeply and simultaneously etch into our minds both image and meaning.

 

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Maxine Swann

Good writing is the fruit of both the conscious and the unconscious minds. Sometimes we forget this. We privilege the intellect; we think that if we just think hard enough we can “figure this out.” Our hand grows stiff, our writing forced. In fact, much of our best work is produced when we’re looking the other way.

 

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Mieke Eerkens

This fun weekend course promises to stock you with enough fresh material for 10 essays, stories, or even a book to flesh out over the months following the class. In an invigorating, supportive, no-pressure environment, we’ll use tested and effective writing prompts to get some beginnings down on paper for further development when you go home. We’ll have some time to discuss and share some of our work each day and get some feedback on how to proceed with the work we’ve generated, as well as get a list of prompts to generate new material at home.

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019
Instructor(s): 
Lon Otto

This weekend workshop focuses on the challenges and resources of writing about childhood experience. (Childhood, for our purposes, runs from a person’s earliest memories to the threshold of young adulthood.) We will read published fiction, creative nonfiction, and poems that involve a child’s perspective, and we will explore the advantages and liabilities of various narrative points of view. We will use these insights to ask constructive questions about writing being worked on by members of the class.