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Feb 14–March 14, 2022. An Instruction Manual for Your First Novel with Leslie Schwartz is a Course

Feb 14–March 14, 2022. An Instruction Manual for Your First Novel with Leslie Schwartz

Time limit: 100 days

Spots remaining: 6

$600 Enroll

Full course description



An Instruction Manual for Your First Novel (Five-Week Workshop) 

Leslie Schwartz, Instructor 




Mondays on Zoom, February 14–March 14, 2022 

6:00–8:00 p.m. Iowa/Central Time (7:00–9:00 Eastern; 4:00–6:00 Pacific; 5:00–7:00 Mountain) 




Course Description 


What is theme? How do I structure a novel? How do I discover and write exciting characters? What’s the difference between writing scene versus exposition, and how do I do it? 


If you have asked yourself any of these questions while staring at the blank page, this course is a good fit for you. Geared toward beginning and intermediate fiction writers, the class will provide fun, engaging writing exercises, fascinating handouts, lively discussions, and a safe and supportive critique workshop. 


Step-by step instructions on basic skills will help you uncover with simplicity and precision the fundamental craft of writing fiction. You’ll generate brand new work via in-class writing exercises; you’re also free to use this class to develop and revise any fiction you’ve written previously. 


Everyone will have a chance to workshop their writing, (bring work that’s already underway or start fresh in this workshop) and ask questions about how to move forward. 


During the course, I will meet with each student for a one-on-one 30-minute Zoom conference outside of scheduled class time. 


The class welcomes all genres of fiction. 





Leslie Schwartz has written two award-winning novels, Jumping the Green and Angels Crest, and a memoir, The Lost Chapters: Finding Recovery and Renewal One Book at a Time. She won the James Jones Award for best first novel for Jumping the Green and was named Kalliope Magazine’s Woman Writer of the Year. She has also been the recipient of many awards, including three artist-in-residence grants from the L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs, the West Hollywood/Algonquin Award for Public Service in the Arts, and a California Council for the Humanities Fellowship. Her two novelshave been published in 13 languages. Angels Crest was also adapted for the screen and premiered in theaters in 2013. Her essays and articles have most recently appeared in Salon, LitHub, The Rumpus, Brevity, The Washington Post, and Narratively Speaking 


A past president of the board of directors for PEN USA, Leslie has worked collaboratively with PEN USA in their many programs designed for at-risk youth and young writers in programs such as Pen-in-the-Classroom and PEN’s Emerging Voices Fellowship. She taught writing and published two literary magazines for Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention agency in the United States. She recently curated, edited and published the literary magazine Charlotte. 

Leslie has taught writing at various universities and creative institutions, and currently offers private mentoring and editing services. She holds an M.F.A. in Writing and is currently writing her fourth book, a novel. Visit her online at 



Registration & Fees 


The fee for this course is $600. Payment in full is required to register. 

Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Registration opens on Tuesday, January 25, at 11:00 a.m. Central Time.

Class size is limited to 10. 


Note: Your credit card payment will be processed by an external provider and will appear on your credit card statement as “UI Writing—Magid Center.” 


Refund & Cancellation Policy 


If you need to cancel your enrollment in a Festival class, please let us know as soon as possible. We can only offer full refunds if you cancel two weeks prior to the start of class. After that, before the start date of class, we can offer a 50% refund. We cannot refund day-of cancellations, and we cannot refund or partially refund tuition once the class has begun. 


Terms & Community Policy 


The Iowa Summer Writing Festival is a community built on an assumption of shared enterprise, in the spirit of mutual respect. We reserve the right to a) revoke the registration of or b) dismiss from the program any person who disrupts the learning/working environment of others. Participants in the Festival are subject to all University of Iowa policies governing conduct in our community, whether online or in person. 




Contact the Iowa Summer Writing Festival: Phone: (319) 335-4160. 


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