University of Iowa

The Workshop Method

Courses in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival are primarily based on the workshop method, a studio learning environment where the primary text is your own creative work. Many workshops will also include examination of exemplary published work.

The workshop is a dynamic community that reads, and responds to, what’s brought to it. We approach each work-in-progress on its own terms, in a spirit of critical appreciation for that work’s own intentions. We’re on its side. In workshops devoted to critiquing work, your writing will be read and discussed by your fellow writers, giving you the benefit of a careful, supportive readership. You are expected to give the same considered feedback to others on their work.