Full course description
There is a separate application process for this course. If you have not been accepted into the Iowa Young Writers' Studio online Summer Residential Program you are not eligible to enroll.
This summer, something awesome is going to happen: a group of strangers will come together to bond over their love of writing. In this class we will devote ourselves to figuring out what makes fiction work and what kind of stories we want to tell. We’ll talk about all the essential elements of storytelling: plot, structure, character development, setting, point of view, and also, the development of mystery in our own stories. I love thinking about stories in terms of mystery. Mystery can serve as the driving force in a story. It can provide momentum, give characters an impetus to act, and offer insight into what our characters care most deeply about. We’ll use the lens of mystery to ask some essential questions about our own stories: What do our characters seek? What drives them to act? What are they trying to understand and what are they willing to do to reach that understanding? Sending your characters deeper into mysterious territory also gives you a chance to make new discoveries. You may find your story taking twists and turns you couldn’t have planned, or bringing you to places you never thought you could go. In this class, you can expect to spend a lot of time talking about writing with a crew of people who love it as much as you. We’ll use Zoom, our online discussion board, and Google Docs to communicate and share. We’ll do lots of writing exercises to get you motivated and excited to produce new work of your own. We’ll also read and discuss published stories and to try and figure out how the authors pulled them off. You’ll have the opportunity to share your own work with your peers, and receive support, insight, and careful critique in return. There’s no pressure to be anything other than excited and ready to learn. This class will give you a chance to totally immerse yourself in your writing with support and guidance from me and your classmates.
Karen Parkman received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Hanging out in a classroom with other people who love writing is one of the great joys of her life. In addition to teaching for the Iowa Young Writers' Studio, she's taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Kirkwood Community College, and White Bear Center for the Arts, where she is also Outreach Coordinator. Her writing appears in Joyland, Witness, and Michigan Quarterly Review, and has earned fellowships from the Sozopol Fiction Seminars and MacDowell. She currently resides in Minneapolis, but has previously lived in West Virginia, Boston, New Zealand, and of course her beloved Iowa City.
REGISTRATION & FEES
The fee for this course, which includes the fee for the 2-week session of the online Summer Residential Program, is $575. Payment in full is required to enroll in the course.
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."
Cancellation Policy: If you cancel or withdraw before June 1, 2022 a $50 cancellation fee will be deducted from your refund. Thereafter no refunds are available.
Contact the Iowa Young Writers' Studio: firstname.lastname@example.org.