University of Iowa

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Susan Aizenberg

Imagery—the recreation of sensory experience through language—is one of the key elements of poetic craft, and surprisingly, frequently among the hardest to master. Most of us are familiar with Pound’s famous dictum, “Go in fear of abstractions,” and of course that old saw, “Show, don’t tell,” yet it can be challenging to put these concepts into practice or to understand why they are so important.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Thomas Fox Averill

Plots in stories and novels take many twists and turns, as do the plots of our lives. Our weekend will include discussion of plot strategies, the various kinds of plots, the use of subplots, and how our plots create meaning. The plot of the weekend: scene one, discussion; scene two, writing a series of exercises designed to help understand plot in its many forms; scene three, sharing writing; and scene four, problem solving and insightful conclusions. This generative class is open to fiction and would-be fiction writers at all levels.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Venise Berry

Sensual writing can be just as powerful, if not more powerful, than sexual writing. What is the difference between a sensual love scene and a sexual love scene? How do writers convey passion, emotion, and love without using explicit language?

 

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Jennifer Fawcett

Have you heard the anecdote about the writer who wrote 900 pages and then was ready to start her book? Extreme as that may seem, the point is that sometimes the best way to develop your story is to write around the edges of it, to discover the world around the plot, the history of characters, the provenance of an object. In other words, sometimes you have to write a lot that won’t go directly on the page but will flavor everything else that does.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Diana Goetsch

Nonfiction is the most flexible of writing genres, encompassing essays, memoir, articles, op-eds, columns, letters. When any of these forms are done well, the execution of craft brings factual writing to the level of art. “Cut these words and they bleed,” Ralph Emerson said of Montaigne, whose essays were so lucid they pulsed with life. This will be a hands-on class for nonfiction writers wishing to stretch their capacities.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Kathleen Rooney

Prose poetry is far more than just verse without line breaks. Borrowing from a variety of forms and genres, including questionnaires, conver­sations, dream narratives, and art installations like those of Joseph Cornell, these little blocks, patches, scraps, chunks, fragments—whatever you want to call them—are tiny boxes that can contain big things.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Mary Kay Shanley

Even before the first draft of a memoir is written―sometimes before the first sentence is written―a wave of doubt can sweep the writer out to sea. “What if,” you gulp, “people disagree with what I write?” It’ll probably happen for one simple reason: Your memoir is written from your perspective. You see, understand, remember and interpret the people, places and events that merge to become your story from your vantage point. Others in your story see it from their vantage points, and these twains will not all meet.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Carol Spindel

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.

 

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sarah Strickley

Every novel begins with a great idea, but not every great idea makes for a compelling novel. How do you know if your idea is strong enough to sustain a book-length work? What are the tried-and-true methods for transforming ideas into pages? In this weekend workshop, the focus will be carefully laying the groundwork for the composition of a novel. We’ll pre-write our way through our cast of characters, our major plot points, and our thematic concerns; we’ll learn the value of an outline; and we’ll experiment with voice and point of view.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Mary Allen

Have you always felt a deep urge to write but not known how or where to begin? Do you long to get at the meaning and stories inside of you but feel frustrated when you sit down and try to make it happen on the page? If so, this class is for you.

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Martin Pousson

What is the difference between miniatures, drabbles, micro-fiction, palm stories, twitterature, and short shorts? In turn, how are these forms different from flash fiction, sudden fiction, and very short fiction? Is the answer more quantitative than qualitative, or does the selection of a frame—and form—change more than the number of words within a story? Increasingly, literary magazines promote contests in shorter and shorter narrative forms to feature on smart phones, tablets, and social media sites.