University of Iowa

Trespassing Encouraged: A Generative Workshop for All Genres

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019

In this weekend course, we will look at texts that break rules: essays that read like short stories, short stories that sound like poems, prose poems that make a reader rethink what words like “poem” and “essay” and “story” mean. We will look at texts that play with borrowed forms (recipes, how-to lists, and wedding vows) and texts that push traditional boundaries of time, creating new portals into old subjects. As we read, we will respond to prompts to produce our own work, aiming not to color inside the lines of any particular genre but to find, instead, vitality in ourselves and on the page. We will spend one day reading and drafting and the second day workshopping our newly created, unclassifiable work. By the end of the weekend, participants will glimpse how genre lines can serve as invitations to experiment rather than no-trespassing signs—wide open fields of possibility.


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.

Hybrid Forms
Short Story