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Mining the Story Within: The Bedrock of Narrative

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

When: Tuesday, February 6; Tuesday, February 13; Tuesday, February 20; & Tuesday, February 27

Where:  Iowa Writers' House, 332 East Davenport St

Cost: $265


To develop a story, sometimes you need to write to discover the world around the plot, 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 strengthen the organic structure, explore the complexities and contradictions of their characters, and heighten imagery that can tie the whole story 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. What you discover can open your work in a new way and give you a fresh way to see the story that wants to be told.  Through this work, you will start to excavate the deep ideas and imagery that fuel you as a writer, sparking ideas for the next story, and the next.




Jennifer is a playwright, fiction writer and founding member of Working Group Theatre.  She has written over fifteen plays, many of which have been developed and produced around the country including at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Tennessee Women Playwrights Theatre, Centenary Stage Company, Available Light Theatre, the Source Festival, Palm Beach Dramaworks, and Hancher and Riverside Theatre in Iowa City.  She is the recipient of the NEFA National Theatre Award (with Working Group Theatre) for her two-play project, Out of Bounds, the Kennedy Center’s National Science Playwriting Award for Atlas of Mud, and she was nominated for the ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award for Birth Witches.  Her newest play, Apples in Winter, which won the NNPN Smith Prize for Political Theatre, will be produced at Riverside Theatre in their 2017-18 season.  She is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s MFA Playwrights Workshop.


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


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


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: