University of Iowa

Smaller Pictures Deliver Bigger, Better Stories

Weekend July 27 to July 28 2019

A common problem that plagues writers without a boatload of experience is attempting to tell your reader everything. All-At-Once. But what results is a lot of information that skims the surface. Period. That means your readers miss the richness of all those smaller-picture stories waiting beneath. Stories that harbor marvelous details and vibrant conversations, characters who unfold on the page, places rich and real. Stories strung together in a timely manner—one after another—deliver the heart and soul of your project. Together we’ll learn how to break a big story into segments, then fill each segment—each small picture—with quality writing. With patience and care, you’ll connect those smaller pictures into the complete story. I ask for a writing sample ahead of time so I’ll be familiar with your style. You may also bring work from home to critique with fellow students.


In this workshop we will generate new writing through guided exercises and prompts; provide feedback on writing you bring from home or produce in our weekend.

Short Story