The University of Iowa

Venise Berry

Venise Berry is the author of three national bestselling novels: So Good, An African American Love Story (1996); All of Me, A Voluptuous Tale (2000); and Colored Sugar Water (2002). Her memoir Driven: love, career and the pursuit of happiness recently released in 2018. She is currently finishing her fourth novel, Pockets of Sanity. Berry has co-edited two anthologies, Black Culture & Experience: Contemporary Issues (2015) and Mediated Messages and African American Culture: Contemporary Issues (1996). She is also the co-author of two nonfiction film books, The Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema (Scarecrow Press, 2015 & 2007) and The 50 Most Influential Black Films (Citadel 2001). Her numerous short stories, journal articles, and book chapters appear widely in creative and academic circles. Berry is an associate professor of Journalism and African American Studies at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She is also a fiction faculty member in the Solstice Low-Residency Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. Visit Venise online at www.veniseberry.com.

Instructor Events

Weekend June 20 to June 21 2020
Instructor(s): 
Venise Berry

How do you create a strong and exciting plot in your novel? How do you connect the plot with various subplots? How do you place plot points effectively throughout your story? This class will help you to develop or strengthen your novel’s main plot. It will also help you to better understand the use of subplots and the purpose of plot points. To write a great novel it is crucial to recognize how the plot, subplots and plot points create the main sequence of events and figure out the best way to use them to move your story from beginning to end.

Weekend July 18 to July 19 2020
Instructor(s): 
Venise Berry

I believe good writing is not a talent that you must be born with, but an ability that you can cultivate. Layering is an effective tool that can help you improve your writing. During the weekend, participants will create new writing and/or enhance current writing through several layering exercises. The goal is to develop various skills involving the power of words, the intensity of language, and the relevance of imagery. In this workshop, layering will enable you to explore structural elements like clarity and depth which are crucial to good writing.