Necessary Lies: The Freedom to Invent in Creative Nonfiction

sold out

Necessary Lies: The Freedom to Invent in Creative Nonfiction


While creative nonfiction is oriented toward fact, there are many ways that it borrows on fiction.  A “true story” still requires plot, which is organized more meaningfully than actual events. If memory fails, the author invents the truth: picturing what clothes Mom was wearing or how the kitchen smelled.  The best writers aren’t shy about this creative necessity. Annie Dillard depicts a kind of “ghost frog” on Tinker Creek—reduced to a bubble of skin—but in fact she discovered the phenomenon in a book. James McBride takes on his dead mother’s point of view, letting her speak as if she is the narrator. Virginia Woolf sets aside the actual streets of London so that she can follow her own stream of consciousness.  In this weekend course, we will release our restraints, particularly worries about factual accuracy, so that we can explore creative options. Come prepared to play with the truth and to expand the nonfiction horizon. We will generate new material that can stand on its own or be integrated into existing projects.

When:  Friday, March 22nd, 6:00pm-7:30pm

Saturday, March 23rd, 9:30am-3:30pm (Lunch break at noon)

Sunday, March 24th, 9:30am-3:30pm (Lunch break at noon)

Where:  Iowa Writers' House, 332 East Davenport St

Cost: $265

All course information is sent to participants upon registering including confirmation of workshop times, location, and materials.

Please review our cancellation policy:

Add To Cart