• WRITING WORKSHOPS •

 

Our fall 2019 lineup is here with 4 weekend immersion workshops and 4 one-day intensive workshops! This season’s workshops will help you to develop characters’ physicality, employ the power of setting, and face your literary fears. Generate new work, learn the ins and outs of literary magazines, and explore what it means to take on the role of character in memoir. Finally, engage the connection between writing and spirituality, both in the creative process and in practice.

This year we are introducing an all-inclusive package for workshop participants to stay in the House during weekend experiences. This more holistic writing experience offers the opportunity to remain in the writers’ ambiance with fellow students, giving a space for no one and nothing to interrupt from your writing experience.

Instead of commuting back and forth, you have the opportunity to make the Writers’ House your home away from home, and can trade out heavy rain boots for your slippers as you only have to walk downstairs to attend the workshop. And, unlike hotels, by the end of the Sunday workshop, you don’t have to leave at any certain time. You can remain in the House as you compose your thoughts and writing experiences you’ve gained from the workshop. IWH Members receive 10% off both their workshop and their stay.

See you at the house!

 
 

RECURRING WORKSHOPS AND WRITING GROUPS

This season, we are introducing recurring workshops and writing groups!

Stop by Zen Write Night and enjoy a quiet, dedicated space to write once a month. If you are craving feedback on your writing, become a Member of the Writers’ House and receive an invitation to the Writers’ Circle where you can workshop your current projects and generate new work two nights per month in a collaborative group of writers. Take part in Becca Klaver’s four-session workshop Stardust Sessions to explore the spiritual side of writing once a month.

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STARDUST SESSIONS: WRITING MAGIC

October 13, November 10, and December 8

Stardust Sessions are workshops for anyone who believes that writing is a way to light up the magic in the mundane. Join poet and cofounder of Switchback Books Becca Klaver each month this fall to tap into your imaginative and writing capacities in a supportive and reverent environment through an eclectic array of methods—guided meditations, visionary poetry, chance operations, Fluxus instructions, divination, spells, and more. No previous experience with any of these practices is required; all you need is a spirit of openness and play.

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WRITERS’ CIRCLE (AVAILABLE TO IWH MEMBERS)

September 9 and 16, October 7 and 21, November 4 and 18, December 2 and 16

As a member of the Writers’ House, you’ll be invited to the IWH Writers' Circle and to meet twice a month with other writers to generate new work and receive feedback on existing projects. Though writing can be a solitary practice, perhaps one of the best assets a writer can have is other writers to meet and discuss work with. With the help of facilitator Linda Muller, the Writers' Circle will be an open and collaborative environment for writers to connect and assist each other in developing their work on a regular basis.

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ZEN WRITE NIGHTS

September 11, October 9, November 13, December 11

What are writers always telling us they need? Dedicated time to write. A space without distraction. A regular writing practice. We're excited to host a program to support our writing community in this very way. Join us at the Writers’ House on the second Wednesday of every month this fall for an evening of focused writing, optional prompts, a cozy space, and unlimited tea from the zen tea bar.

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WEEKEND IMMERSION WORKSHOPS

THE LAND BENEATH YOUR FEET: A FICTION WORKSHOP

Oct 25-27

Willa Cather said it most eloquently: “Let your fiction grow out of 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.

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SELF PORTRAIT: THE HEART OF MEMOIR

November 8-10

Most of us know the standard tools of characterization, how to make fictional characters into real flesh-and-blood people. Yet the flesh-and-blood "I" of memoir, at least in early drafts, often seems ethereal and disembodied, like the voiceover of a documentary. Perhaps we simply haven’t asked the right questions. During this weekend retreat, instructor Cecile Goding helps us to find our inner characters and explore our past selves from new angles.

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COURTING COMPLEXITY: BRAIDED COMPOSITIONS

November 1-3

Whether an essay, story, or poem, more than a single strand is likely to become involved in its making. Braiding means handling more than one thing at a time: plot and subplot, text and subtext, theme and illustration, all of which may lead you off track. With a variety of writing exercises in and out of session, and a little one-on-one time with your instructor David Hamilton—who was editor of the Iowa Review for more than 30 years—this weekend experience will test the possibilities of “braiding” your work, in whatever genre.

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ONE-DAY INTENSIVE WORKSHOPS

AN INSIDE LOOK: LITERARY MAGAZINES 101

October 6

What exactly is a literary magazine, what is their role in the literary world, and how can you get published in one? Lynne Nugent, the managing editor of the Iowa Review, will share stories of her sixteen years with one of the country’s most distinguished literary magazines. You’ll become familiar not only with the Iowa Review but also a number of other top literary magazines and receive personalized advice on where to send your work. Bring any and all of your questions about literary magazines to this informative gathering.

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MAKING POEMS: AN INFORMAL, INTRODUCTORY, & GENERATIVE WORKSHOP

November 3 and 10

Instructor Susan Aizenberg is returning to the Iowa Writers’ House with a new rendition of her generative poetry workshop, with new poems to read and updated exercises! In these two half-day workshops, we’ll talk about the practice of poetry, read some sample poems, and do a bit of writing in the form of an exercise or two designed to generate first drafts.  These workshops are open to all, regardless of experience with poetry.

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FACING YOUR FEARS: WRITING THROUGH DARKNESS

October 26

“Scary“ is a catch-all term that unhelpfully brings together several distinct, potent forms of human experience. Different things scare people—but more importantly, different kinds of things scare people in different kinds of ways. This class distinguishes among three basic experiences that shape humans (therefore readers)—objects of fear, experiences of horror, and realizations of terror. This class discusses these as important tools in the construction of various kinds of writing, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and plays.

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GO DOWN DEEP: EXPLORING THE SPIRITUAL ESSAY

December 7

Writing about our spiritual experiences may involve stepping outside the ordinary into deep mystery or simply finding enchantment in the everyday. Just as some spiritual teachings prompt us to look within, to embrace stillness, so good writing calls us into direct experience, or communion, with reality, so that we can see things with new eyes. This class will explore ways we can sink more deeply into our writing, offering practical techniques for accessing inspiration.

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