The Searchers: Finding the Story in the World; Shaping the World into Words
Oct
26
to Oct 28

The Searchers: Finding the Story in the World; Shaping the World into Words

In “The Searchers,” author and publisher Robert James Russell will not only work through what it means to be a storyteller, but how to find the story worth telling—keeping ourselves and our readers engaged. As writers, it’s easy to forget that we are storytellers—take away social media and publication fanfare, and what we’re left with, at a most basic level, is our desire to tell a story we feel is important and necessary.

View Event →
History, Imagination, and Truth: Bringing Real Life into the World of Your Stories
Nov
2
to Nov 4

History, Imagination, and Truth: Bringing Real Life into the World of Your Stories

In this course, we will start by looking carefully at some selections by writers who succeed at bringing historical persons, places, and real-life situations to new life in their fictional or nonfictional worlds. Then we’ll write exercises aimed at freeing ourselves to imagine what it must have been like to be Great-Aunt Gladys, for example, growing up in rural Georgia in 1938. We’ll write ourselves into our characters as they encounter specific situations within the world we have re-created for them.

View Event →
The Inventive Female Voice
Nov
16
to Nov 18

The Inventive Female Voice

How can women find a frame that fits our unruly experiences of self and body? How do we milk the interruptions, the stolen moments common to our experience as writers? How can we begin to make and break our own rules? This class will be multi-genre, and generative, though time will be allotted to workshop pre-existing pieces.

View Event →
Travel Writing: Making Our Trips Through Life Glow
Nov
30
to Dec 2

Travel Writing: Making Our Trips Through Life Glow

In this class we’ll use fun, easy, foolproof writing exercises to turn our travel stories into writing that’s fresh, exciting, and surprising…And we’ll talk about how to use writing as a life tool that can turn every trip we go on, whether it’s exciting and wonderful or not so wonderful, into a transformative experience, for us and our readers, allowing us to make the most of our travels through life.

View Event →
The Path to Freelancing
Dec
2
1:30 PM13:30

The Path to Freelancing

How do you get started as a freelance writer? Is it possible to turn freelancing into a full-time job? Nicole Dieker is in her seventh year of full-time freelancing, and she’ll teach you everything she knows about how freelancers make money: how to pitch (even when you don’t have clips); how to build a freelancer schedule that combines writing, pitching, networking, and administrative work; and how to grow your earnings over time.

View Event →

Love Letters: A Community Writing Circle
Jun
3
4:00 PM16:00

Love Letters: A Community Writing Circle

Join us for a special community writing event at the Iowa Writers' House in partnership Honoring Your Wishes and Iowa City Hospice. Inspired by the themes of love, forgiveness, and gratitude, the Love Letters Project invites writers to gather together for a special afternoon of community writing. 

The event is free and open to the community. Spaces are limited and seats are available on a first come first served basis. 

View Event →
Art of the Pitch
Feb
11
1:00 PM13:00

Art of the Pitch

Maybe you have a brilliant idea for a non-fiction story or perhaps there is an essay, hidden like a jewel in your files, the only trouble is, you don’t know how to get published. This intensive three-hour course, is designed to take you from idea, to pitch, to publication.

View Event →
Go There: Fierce Writing from Exactly Where You Are
Dec
1
to Dec 3

Go There: Fierce Writing from Exactly Where You Are

In this class, we’ll learn how to capture in writing the places and the people we know intimately in order to create the specificity that all readers desire. We’ll reexamine familiar places for new inspiration, look for the totems they offer us to work with, and inhabit the characters of these settings by writing from their points of view. For outside inspiration, we’ll read authors who have mastered the art of place. It’s time to see the extraordinary in the ordinary and start writing with purpose and urgency, right here and right now.

View Event →
The Power of Reframing
Nov
15
6:00 PM18:00

The Power of Reframing

In this course, Andrea leads us through a reflective journey into the self; guiding creative methods of self-authorization and purpose finding. The participants will learn ways to translate complex emotions associated with significant events in their lives into a written form of storytelling that is safe, supportive and appropriate for a broader public. 

She discusses how individuals can anticipate narrative arcs that allow us to live as the characters we wish to become. Such public forms of writing are crucial as a way to bear witness both to the mercies and the travesties of the everyday world—it can help others learn the language necessary to give voice to their own experiences.

View Event →
The Power of Wonder
Nov
8
6:00 PM18:00

The Power of Wonder

This class focuses on how traumatic and difficult events can also be interpreted as ruptures that open (rather than close) future possibilities. Looking at the power of wonder, the class will explore the work of the imagination to describe how such ruptures can make us more capable of being aware of the surrounding world and thus more able to pursue the lives we wish to lead.

View Event →
The Healing in Story
Nov
1
6:00 PM18:00

The Healing in Story

This class focuses on what happens after we find the words that let us connect ourselves to our memories and to the larger world around us. We will move beyond a core memory or event toward a story that promotes an openness to futures that we would desire. In this way, we are able transition from a place of hurt toward a path of healing. Because such writing involves the grieving process it demonstrates the need for editing and the ability to shape our stories by expanding the context. Editing our stories is not simply excising events that we wish not to remember, but involves adding moments, scenes, and contexts that provide a character arc of an autonomous self. Even in stories where characters lack autonomy, the writer / editor is able to alter how events are told or experienced in ways that liberate characters to more choices in the future.

View Event →
The Energy of Story
Oct
25
6:00 PM18:00

The Energy of Story

The Energy of Story helps you begin to understand how to access the unconscious stories that influence our conscious decisions.  Learning to listen and express these stories from a personal place allows the release of shame around trauma and begins to move us to a place of response versus reaction. This gives us the power to author our own stories within the larger familial and cultural stories that surround us.  

View Event →
The Science of Story
Oct
18
6:00 PM18:00

The Science of Story

The Power of Science provides a way to redefine our stories from what seems to be a given trajectory influenced by forces beyond our control, to embracing the  empowered state of being the author of our own lives. The class grounds writing as a tool for self-transformation in a scientific approach that demonstrates how the power of story can change our chemical makeup and repair emotional scarring on a cellular level.  Gypsy will explore with you the science of emotion, how it manifests in our physical bodies, and discuss inherited traumas that are inscribed on our genetics and that influences our ability to live healthy lives; emotionally and physically. 

View Event →
Developing Your Story in Depth with Jennifer Fawcett
Sep
29
to Oct 1

Developing Your Story in Depth with Jennifer Fawcett

To develop a work, sometimes you need to write to discover the world around the story, the history of characters, the provenance of an object, in other words, sometimes you have to write a lot that won’t go directly on the page but will flavor everything that does. In this workshop, writers will dig deep into their work to discover and strengthen structure, explore the complexities and contradictions of their characters, and heighten imagery that can tie the whole piece together. We will look at what has spilled out on the page in the excitement of the first draft and begin the work of refining, deepening and mining the story within.  This workshop is open to anyone writing a story, no matter what the form. Participants who come with in progress work (some pages of flushed out ideas) will gain the most benefit from the workshop. Beginning writers should feel comfortable bringing their work--we all start somewhere. 

This workshop is sure to be an experience that develops you as a writer and helps you dive deep into the possibilities of your stories!

 

View Event →
Seeing Is Believing: Crafting Great Characters from Real Life
Sep
15
to Sep 17

Seeing Is Believing: Crafting Great Characters from Real Life

Whether you are working on a memoir or are a novelist eager to take your character development to a new level, this workshop will reveal new ways to write compelling and emotionally rich portraits of people that feel instantly recognizable in their honesty and complexity. 

Drawing from the literary journalist’s toolkit, writers will master strategies to approach the familiar with new eyes and to access imagery and details that help us truly see another person on the page. By reading and discussing ways other writers have used the raw material of everyday life to craft compelling, emotionally resonant characters, you will walk away with clear ideas for bringing these techniques to your own writing process. And finally, through a series of writing exercises, you will have a chance to bring together all the strands of what you are learning into a single portrait in miniature, and you will receive supportive feedback that leaves you feeling inspired to continue on your own. 

View Event →
Violet Realm Write-In
Jul
25
6:00 PM18:00

Violet Realm Write-In

The Violet Realm (VR) is our IWH room dedicated to fantasy fiction and science fiction-- truly for all writers who are interested in creating magical worlds within their works. The Violet Realm meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 6-8pm at the Iowa Public Library in meeting Room B. If you've attended a Violet Realm write-in and would like to stay connected with other sci-fi/fantasy writers, request to join our Facebook group.

View Event →