Upcoming Readings

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Writing University Podcast

July 7, 2014
What you know is the here and now and past of your own life, your own family, your own travels and some things about your friends. What you don’t know is everything else, which is a lot. What exactly are we to make of those oft-tossed words: “Write what you know.” They can feel like a stop sign, but let’s look behind them.
June 27, 2014
Sabrina Orah Mark, Michael Martone, Beau O'Reilly, Robin Hemley, Elizabeth McCracken
June 26, 2014
One of the biggest challenges, and imperatives, of writing is finding the time—making time—to sit down and do it. It’s something like that moment in the movie Field of Dreams, where a mysterious voice says to Kevin Costner, If you build it they will come. Except that in the case of writing, ‘building it’ means not creating a ballpark to attract... more
June 25, 2014
“Find your voice”—the most natural thing a writer should do, right? Somewhere inside me is my voice! Yet, the search tends to proceed like a grail quest, only trickier, because ‘voice’ pops up everywhere on the page, appearing now in the style, now in the sound, now in the stance, now in the details. So, is it the bedrock DNA of great writing, or... more
June 24, 2014
There are innumerable workshops you can take to help you write your first novel or book of stories, workshops in which you’ll focus on developing characters and plot and structure, establishing narrative pace and point of view, refining dialogue. But what about the character of you, the writer doing all that hard work? How will you plot and... more
June 23, 2014
In this Eleventh Hour presentation, poet Michael Morse will discuss the prose poem, a literary hybrid with evocative potential. We’ll look at a brief history of the form, some model examples of writing that blend the lyricism of the poem with the syntax of the sentence, and try our hand at exercises that will yield early drafts of work to take... more
June 19, 2014
In this podcast, recorded on 6/19/07 at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival Elevenses novelist and poet Jim Heynen discusses the relationship between content and form. Heynen advises writers to revisit thematic "obsessions" and to attempt "re-exploring the
June 10, 2014
This lecture will explore recent moments and new possibilities in the age-old relationship between nonfiction and fiction. We’ll discuss contemporary works of fiction built around documentary material: photographs, testimony, reportage. Through an examination of how fiction frames, interacts with, and creates and resolves tension with its... more
June 9, 2014
Creative nonfiction is an art of selection, omission, and juxtaposition. Decisions, decisions, decisions… Not only what to leave in and what to take out, but also how to artfully arrange the parts. When just the right elements are juxtaposed, a spark flies up from the space between. In this Eleventh Hour, Carol Spindel will lead a workshop on how... more
July 30, 2013

There are innumerable workshops you can take to help you write your first novel or book of stories, workshops in which you’ll focus on developing characters and plot and structure, establishing narrative pace and point of view, refining dialogue. But what about the character of you, the writer doing all that hard work? How will you plot and... more

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