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Workshop Descriptions & Instructors

Karen Bender

Karen Bender

From Fact to Fiction
Weekend Workshop June 16-17

Finding Your Story
One-Week Workshop June 17-22

Building Character from the Inside Out
Weekend Workshop June 23-24

Biography

From Fact to Fiction
Weekend Workshop June 16-17

How do you take your own personal experiences and make them into art? This class is for students at any level who want to use material from their own lives and find ways to transform them into fiction. Through in-class writing exercises, we will start with experiences or observations or people who exist in the real world and then explore them in a fictional context. We will be reading our exercises in class with an eye toward what is working and what to develop. Just bring a pen, paper, and the desire to both honor the truth and start lying about it.

Finding Your Story
One-Week Workshop June 17-22

You have an idea for a story. Now how do you do that most difficult thing—start? In this class, we will begin to build a story through daily writing exercises. Each day, we will work on a different element of craft—characterization, sensory detail, dialogue, scene. We will read exercises out loud and tell each other what is working best. We will identify each writer’s strengths and help brainstorm ways to develop his/her story. Students will generate all new material during the week, through writing assignments in and outside of workshop.

Building Character from the Inside Out
Weekend Workshop June 23-24

You have someone who’s been sticking in your mind—you just have to write about this person! Or you’ve always wanted to write from the point of view of a thief. Or a man. Or a woman. Or—anyone. This whirlwind weekend workshop, designed for writers of all levels, will give you a chance to explore a character from many different angles. We will spend the weekend developing character through writing exercises, reading our exercises out loud, and finding the strongest moments in the work we produce. You should leave the class with ideas for at least one character you will want to write more about.

Biography

Karen E. Bender is the author of a novel, Like Normal People (Houghton Mifflin, 2000). Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, Story, Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, and other magazines. Her stories have been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, and have won two Pushcart prizes. She has had two stories read at Symphony Space as part of “Selected Shorts” on National Public Radio, and has won grants from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the NEA. She is also co-editor of the anthology Choice (Macadam-Cage, 2007). Karen has taught at The Writer’s Voice Program at the 63rd Street YMCA in New York, and in the M.F.A. program at Antioch University Los Angeles. Currently, she teaches at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has completed a new novel, Allegations, and a short story collection, Refund.

 

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Sponsored by the Division of Continuing Education
Iowa Summer Writing Festival
C215 Seashore Hall
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone 319-335-4160
FAX 319-335-4743
iswfestival@uiowa.edu

Last updated on November 14, 2012