University of Iowa

Writing Emotions

Weekend June 23 to June 24 2018

In this workshop, we’ll confront the challenge of writing emotional scenes—or emotional moments—whether they are in fiction, nonfiction or poetry. We’ll practice bitter anger, ecstatic happiness, heart-wrenching sadness, and even hair-raising fear or horror. We’ll look at some successfully written emotional moments in published literature to see what makes them work. We’ll also look at a few clunkers to see why some attempts at writing emotions don’t work. We might even use the strategy of writing a few fake emotional scenes to warm up! The goal will be for you to write some prize-winning emotionally charged moments in whatever form you choose. Our time will include in-class handouts and both in- and out-of-class generative writing exercises. This class is open to all levels of writing experience.