University of Iowa

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Nancy K. Barry

We all know that revision is the deepest level of “work” that we do on any piece of writing we compose, but not all writers have a system in place for what to actually DO once they set themselves to the task. By listening carefully to what the draft is saying, and by applying some specific criteria to handling a manuscript in different stages, writers can begin to be more systematic, and less vulnerable, to the enduring and sometimes maddening work of revision.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Robin Hemley

“Frangible” has two meanings: able to be broken up into many parts and bullets that disintegrate upon impact. We’ll be approaching the memoir this week in both senses of the word—looking at memoir and memory in terms of fragmentation, writing brief snippets of memoir in a series of exercises, and creating little explosions on the page, brief bursts that suggest more than they state explicitly. This class is designed for both poets and prose writers who are drawn less to narrative and more to suggestion and metaphor.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Charles Holdefer

Telling a story well requires a sure touch with narration, characterization and dialogue. But how do you find the right balance? This is a nuts-and-bolts craft workshop that welcomes fiction writers of all levels. We’ll look at brief samples from contemporary writers (Zadie Smith, George Saunders, et al.) and do several exercises that will allow participants to generate new writing or to experiment with their own work-in-progress. Each writer will also be invited to workshop a short story, novel excerpt, or hybrid text.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Naomi Jackson

Stephen King suggests that a novel should be written in a season. Walter Mosley’s This Year, You Write Your Novel offers advice on how to do what his title suggests. In this workshop, you will make significant progress towards the goal of finishing a complete first draft of your novel by the end of the summer. Participants will cheer each other on as we break obstacles to our projects’ completion. Each writer will submit and receive substantive feedback on a new excerpt of their novel-in-progress.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sabrina Orah Mark

‘“Who are you?’ said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, ‘I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.’”

 

—Lewis Carroll (from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

 

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Malinda McCollum

Writing can be a solitary and frustrating endeavor. It’s one reason many writers enroll in M.F.A. creative writing programs: to be part of a vibrant literary scene. Of course, not everyone can drop everything to pursue a multi-year M.F.A. With that in mind, this workshop is designed to give you a concentrated version of the close reading and community you might find in a creative writing graduate program.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Juliet Patterson

“It sounds like a simple thing to say what you see,” Mark Doty has written. “But try to find the words for the shades of a mottled sassafras leaf or the reflectivity of a bay on an August morning.” In this workshop, we’ll take refuge in the sensory experience found in some contemporary writing, as a way of thinking about a number of questions: How does description contain or convey meaning? What do we do when we describe something? Reproduce, account for, portray, trace, parcel out?

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Sarah Saffian

In grappling with the cardinal question of memoir—Who cares?—this workshop zeroes in on what’s most compelling about our life stories. What about us is potentially interesting to others? Can a personal essay stand alone as a complete mini-memoir?

 

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Laurel Snyder

Have you ever flipped through a picture book, and thought to yourself, “I could do that!” Have you ever tried? It’s tougher than it looks....  

 

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Anthony Varallo

Taking Raymond Carver’s advice as our point of departure (“Get in, get out. Don’t linger. Go on.”) we will explore the virtues of writing short stories, short exercises, and other short forms, and the downside of “lingering” in fiction.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Susan Aizenberg

We all know that writing poems is a solitary activity, but it’s often exhilarating and useful to generate work toward new poems by responding to “no-fault” prompts and exercises together in a supportive and energizing group of fellow poets. We’ll spend our week doing just that: free-writing together in class in response to proven prompts designed to inspire new poems or new ideas for poems on which we’ve been working.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
BK Loren

Is your writing a little stiff? Does it need to take a breath? Or is it not as strong as you want it to be, or as balanced and flexible? This generative class will offer numerous exercises to strengthen your writing while also making your words more flexible and “natural” on the page. Plan on writing a lot, learning a lot, and because yoga-writing is a mind-body experience, also plan on learning a bit of brain science as it applies to your writing. This is not a workshop.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Beau O'Reilly

Working from the premise that the two-character play is the most difficult contemporary dramatic form to complete, and the observation that two-character pieces, also, are one of the most expedient forms to stage and produce, we will make a number of short plays over the course of the week, each one working with dialogue, setting, and the restrictions and freedoms of the two-character format. We will write for the first four days in workshop from prompts designed to get us to create from surprising places.

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019
Instructor(s): 
Suzanne Scanlon

What does it mean to write in a way that resists? Much of my favorite writing to read can be considered “resistant narratives”—writing that responds to and rewrites the narratives we have received from a culture that often wishes to reduce and limit our very souls. To become an artist is to write oneself back into being. A book can be a place where the individual remakes the world. In this workshop, we will read and write.