The Land Beneath Your Feet: A Fiction Workshop


The Land Beneath Your Feet: A Fiction Workshop


Willa Cather said it most eloquently: “Let your fiction grow out the land beneath your feet.” Setting is one of the most powerful tools we have as storytellers. How we select and arrange the details of the worlds we create should speak to the senses and imagination of our readers.

In this weekend experience, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf will help us explore how to tap into the land beneath our feet. We will discuss how to use the senses in order to create detailed, sharply drawn settings that transport readers into the worlds in which our characters live and breathe.  We will also examine how setting impacts all aspects of a story including voice, plot, mood and tone. We will look at the origins of our characters, where they are born and raised and where they decide to put down roots. Our characters, as we do, wear the lasting imprint of the streets they walk upon, the backroads they stroll, the moon they sleep beneath resulting in unique voices, complex relationships and family dynamics. 

By using creative writing exercises we will deepen our own understanding so that readers are able to be swept away into the fictional worlds we have imagined for them.

When:  Friday, October 25th, 6:00pm-7:30pm

Saturday, October 26th, 9:30am-3:30pm (Lunch break at noon)

Sunday, October 27th, 9:30am-3:30pm (Lunch break at noon)

Where:  Iowa Writers' House, 332 East Davenport St

Cost: $265

Looking for an opportunity to stay in the House for this workshop? Check out housing options here -

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

Please review our cancellation policy:

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