University of Iowa

Writing Inventive (Not Just Creative) Nonfiction

Weekend July 20 to July 21 2019

To borrow from an over-used advertising pitch, “Are you tired of the same old essays? Ready to try something new?” If so, come spend a weekend experimenting. We will read and write only the most inventive nonfiction—essays pretending to be poems, essays that stray into the fiction room, collage essays, essays that (like hermit crabs) borrow their homes, even essays that are pure imaginative speculation. (Yes, that counts. What we imagine is a fact, too!) This is a workshop for those who have been writing creative nonfiction for a while but want to stretch. We will read from a sampling of experimental essays by authors such as John McPhee, Lia Purpura, Eula Biss, and David Foster Wallace. Participants will be encouraged to generate several new short drafts, receiving feedback at least twice in a workshop fashion.


In this workshop we will generate new writing through guided exercises and prompts.