University of Iowa

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Mary Allen

Our travels through life are unavoidably interesting. Whatever happens to us—a hike through the desert, a night stuck in the airport, a trip to Hawaii, a stay in the hospital—anywhere we go and anything we do there—becomes a captivating adventure if we pay close attention and turn it into a story. And turning whatever happens in our travels into something we can write about makes us pay attention to whatever’s there, while something is happening or after the fact, and that makes everything more interesting and enjoyable; even the hard stuff becomes easier.

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Hugh Ferrer

Like movie music, good storytelling flows through many emotions. At times it can seem as if these changing emotions actually are the story.

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Debra Jo Immergut

When reading fiction, locating the boundary between the writer’s imagination and the writer’s reality is an endlessly fascinating and mysterious process. In this generative workshop, we’ll examine how writers can most effectively play with that boundary by fictionalizing their own experiences. We’ll explore how to dig deep into essential truths without suffering from overexposure, and how to mine our lives for the raw elements of powerful work.

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Margaret LeMay

Are you interested in spending two days having a great time with form and the foundations of poetry? In this generative workshop, we will focus on five poetic forms: the epistolary poem, the erasure poem, the sonnet, the villanelle, and free verse. Any writer who would like to spend some low-key, energetic time with poetry is welcome to join us, from those who are new to it or perhaps generally write in other genres to seasoned poets. The forms we will experience together allow for a close examination of language, and they are also incredibly fun to write and discuss!

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Jude Nutter

“…[T]he story of our life/becomes our life” claims Lisel Mueller in her marvelous poem “Why We Tell Stories.” But how does one create a compelling, credible and multi-layered story in a poem without becoming prosaic; a poem that develops a web of connections, delivers a lyric frisson, and reveals a larger message or insight? And why do we want and need stories in the first place: what role and significance do stories have in our personal and social lives? Does a person, as Barry Lopez claims, sometimes need stories more than food in order to stay alive?

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Tricia Park

For many of us, the hardest part is not getting to the writing desk but knowing what to do once we’re there. How do we develop a writing practice? How do we face the void of uncertainty that faces us as we stare into the blank page? Often, you may think that a writing practice requires tremendous blocks of time which—let’s face it—most of us can’t often find in the busyness of daily life. However, what if we can still move forward, monitoring consistency rather than volume to track our progress. What if “tiny wins” on a regular basis is what gets us to the top of the mountain?

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
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? How does one take the measure of the external world, and what can it mean for our writing?

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Suzanne Scanlon

Maybe you have a lot of work that’s almost, but not quite, done. Maybe you think you’re done but you don’t know what to do with it. This workshop will help you get that story or essay ready to send out. You will bring in writing that’s close (but not yet!) done, and by the end of our weekend, you’ll have it polished and prepped for submission. We’ll also spend some time looking at a range of options for publication geared to your writing style and genre.

 

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Sandra Scofield

You have an idea. Maybe you have pages. You also have doubts (don't we all?). This is an opportunity to share and test your amniotic story in a safe, generous, and productive community setting. The premise—your core idea—is the bedrock of the novel. Why is this story the one you are compelled to write? Where did it come from? What are the basic elements of plot and character that you know so far? Shake it up and see what else is there.

           

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Carol Severino

How did you learn how to grow a garden, play the piano, knit a sweater, bat a ball, program a computer, solve an equation, diagram a sentence, or converse in Italian? Who taught, guided, mentored, or coached you? How would you describe your mentors’ personalities and teaching styles? To what extent did they encourage you? To what extent would some of them qualify as “difficult people”? What else did you learn from them besides what they were teaching? How would you describe the twists and turns of your learning “curves” in acquiring those skills and subject matters?

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Carol Spindel

In this workshop, we will look at ways nonfiction writers can make their factual writing livelier and more compelling by writing in scenes. In a world where everyone is a photographer and videographer, storytelling styles have evolved to become more visual, and that evolution has influenced nonfiction. Even when reading for information, readers expect the narrative to unfold in dramatic scenes rather than through summary, description, and exposition.

 

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020
Instructor(s): 
Kali White VanBaale

T.S. Eliot once said, “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” In storytelling, this couldn’t be more true as we face new moments and fresh beginnings over and over whenever we start a new story, a new chapter, or even a new scene. And fresh beginnings mean questions. This class will focus on point of entry in all its forms—prologues, frame narrators, new chapters, new scenes, and false starts, as well as point of entry considerations like handling backstory, transitions, point of view, pacing, and pitfalls.