University of Iowa

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020
Instructor(s): 
Linda Bendorf

Overwhelmed at the thought of beginning your memoir? Wondering how to make it meaningful yet manageable? Whether your memoir is just a fleeting idea, one page of notes, or an actual rough draft, join us for an engaging, interactive weekend dedicated to answering your questions, clearing hurdles, and offering inspiration and direction. This fast-paced workshop incorporates presentation, Q&A, discussion, exemplary memoir excerpts and selected writing prompts. Open to all levels.

 

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020
Instructor(s): 
Thomas K. Dean

When writers (especially sighted writers) describe something, they usually depend largely, if not exclusively, on the visual. Of course, humans have four other senses that are just as—and often more—powerful as sight to depict and evoke. This generative workshop will focus on the four non-visual senses—hearing, smell, touch, and taste—and how we can use them to enrich the pallet of our description and to create more evocative writing no matter the genre. Students of all levels are welcome in this workshop.

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020
Instructor(s): 
Mieke Eerkens

This 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 our work at the end of class 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. 10 prompts. 2 days.

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020
Instructor(s): 
Hugh Ferrer

Not every story needs the cranked-up tension of Indiana Jones fleeing a boulder-sized bowling ball, and not every novel needs the nail-biting suspense of a murder mystery; but if a reader doesn’t care what’s happening scene to scene, or the plot doesn’t intrigue us on some level, the jig is up. In this weekend session, open to all levels, we’ll explore the basics of plotting and look for answers to perennial questions: How much information should we withhold? How off-balance do we want the reader to be and for how long? How high do the stakes have to be?

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020
Instructor(s): 
Diana Goetsch

Memoir writing confronts us with two sources of overwhelm: 1) the complexity of life; 2) the complexity of writing. These complexities are like whirlpools we can’t afford not to enter, lest we wind up with breezy prose. At the same time, we can’t afford to drown in them, lest we offload our problems and traumas onto the reader. The antidote to overwhelm is narrowing—in scope, in scale, but most of all, in finding points of entry. It is a principle as old as Proust’s “madeleine moment,” that portal through which the French writer entered a five-volume masterpiece.

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020
Instructor(s): 
Vince Gotera

Speculative literature—science fiction, fantasy, horror—explores our world and our lives through asking “What if?” This all-consuming question is a mainstay in contemporary popular culture. One notable example is the zombie craze: the blockbuster TV series The Walking Dead just started its tenth season.

 

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020
Instructor(s): 
Michael Morse

In this workshop, we’ll take a patient, close look at two revered American poets from the 20th and 21st centuries, spending a full day on each of these marvelous lyricists. By bringing our collective vision and presence to styles and subject matter present in a handful of poems, we’ll translate our close reading and appreciation into six fresh poems that both borrow from our reading and bear our own singular stamp.

 

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020
Instructor(s): 
Kevin Smith

A green meadow bursting with fragrance, the electricity of a crowded sidewalk, a somber room weighed down by old furniture: when we craft a setting, we create a place that both reflects and shapes our characters’ lives. Setting is rooted in point of view, but how do we use the power of setting to write about the places most close to our hearts?

Weekend June 27 to June 28 2020
Instructor(s): 
Sharon Oard Warner

Creating a public display of emotion is one way of describing what it means to “make a scene.” While public spectacles tend to be spontaneous, creating scenes on paper usually requires considerable planning and forethought.