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Point of View: The Key To Unique Storytelling




Point of View: The Key To Unique Storytelling
With Julia Fierro at the Iowa Writers' House

Sunday October 15th
Cost: $65 (Open to the first 14 registrants)

Workshop Description: Our writing instructors tell us again and again to “get closer” to our characters. We nod in agreement, all the while asking ourselves, but how do I get closer? And what does getting closer mean? There is nothing more frustrating than, after writing many pages, realizing you still don’t truly know your leading guy and/or gal.

We are all close to someone—usually many someones—and this makes us natural character experts. We spend much of our time analyzing our loved ones, our neighbors and co-workers (even the strangers sitting across from us on the bus), interpreting gestures, expressions, appearance, dialogue, and tone. We have all imagined the thoughts that pass through the minds of our lovers and friends and enemies; the celebrities we will never meet in person but who we feel already acquainted with thanks to the power of our interpretation and imagination. Writers can use this innate curiosity to create characters so complex they are impossible to be dismissed—characters worthy of the reader’s sympathy and investment.

Like their creators, our characters are capable of curiosity, and their eyes, focused on the right detail and filtered through the right lens, will unveil meaning in the same the way a camera does as it pans in on a subject in a film.

In this craft class, writers will practice close reading of both published work and student work, focusing on consistent point-of-view technique as the foundation on which successful structure, character and language are built.


Julia Fierro is the author of the novels The Gypsy Moth Summer and Cutting Teeth.

Her work has been published in The New York Times, Poets & Writers, Buzzfeed, Glamour, The Millions, and other publications, and she has been profiled in Brooklyn Magazine, the L Magazine, The Observer and The Economist.

A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, she founded The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshopin 2002, which has grown into a creative home to 4,500 writers in NYC, Los Angeles, and Online. SSWW was named “Best Writing Classes” by The Village Voice, Time Out New York, and “Best MFA-Alternative” by Poets & Writers.

All course information is sent to participants upon registering including confirmation of workshop times, location, and materials. Our workshop cancellation policy can be found here:



Later Event: October 18
The Science of Story