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Drawing the Graphic Memoir

  • Iowa Writer's House 332 East Davenport Street Iowa City, IA, 52245 United States (map)

When: Sunday, March 4th, 1:00pm-4:00pm

Where: Iowa Writers' House, 332 East Davenport St

Cost: $75


A graphic memoir can be the ultimate way to “show rather than tell.” In this workshop, we’ll focus on the unique ways images can help tell a story. From the primitive, low-tech drawings of Allie Brosh (“Hyperbole and a Half”), to the cinematic renderings of Nate Powell (the “March” series), we’ll investigate how different artists use various techniques to bring greater emotional resonance to their stories.

We’ll explore principles like scale, composition and contrast, then do some fun drawing exercises of our own. Workshop participants will leave with a greater understanding of how images function in a work of graphic nonfiction. Drawing skill is not important. Previous experience is not required.


Cheryl Graham is an illustrator, designer and writer. She draws author portraits for Little Village and the Chicago Tribune, and her editorial work has appeared in publications nationwide.







I have always been interested in different ways of seeing. I am intrigued by graphic novelists who use imagery not as a literal representation of the text, but as a way to add even more dimensions to their stories. Though their use of character, narrative, voice and setting, writers help readers see their world. Graphic novelists/memoirists use images, paired with text, to alter time and space, and allow readers to experience the story on multiple levels. In this workshop, I hope to illuminate the ways in which this is done, so that when you go home, your head is spinning with new ideas!


Everyone has a story to tell. If you are financially unable to attend this workshop, scholarships are available through our generous partners and donors.


Helping another person attend a workshop is helping them achieve their dreams. Thank you for making our world a better place.