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The Carpenter's Apprentice: Fiction Writing with Adeniyi Ademoroti (in person Session 1 22) is a Course

The Carpenter's Apprentice: Fiction Writing with Adeniyi Ademoroti (in person Session 1 22)


$2,500 Enroll

Full course description

There is a separate application process for this course. If you have not been accepted into the Iowa Young Writers' Studio Summer Residential Program you are not eligible to enroll.


Fiction Writing with Adeniyi Ademoroti: The Carpenter’s Apprentice

Perhaps, just like me, at the start of your journey as a writer (the endless start, stretching years, and years, and years), you searched for advice on how to be better. You combed blogs, journals, interviews with your favourite authors. You wrote them down as you read, tried to imbibe them. The bad, the good, the cliched: show don’t tell. Write what you know. Find your voice. And yet as you read on, other authors came to contradict. Both in those interviews and in their work. Toni Morrison told you pointedly: Write what you don’t know. Nadine Gordimer, in her excellent short stories, told more than she showed. Zadie Smith, T. C. Boyle—every story of theirs you read is in a different voice. You began to cross them off, one by one. All the writing advice you’d written down. You made your way quickly down the list until they were all gone. Except one. (One, to rule them all.) Somehow, no one is able to contradict it. Which one is it? Ah, the most cliched. Told to you by every master. Read everything. William Faulkner says it best: “Read, read, read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.” The question, then, is how does one read everything. Well, in this class, we will indeed attempt to read everything. (In two weeks!) The good and the bad. Trash and the classics. We will read the literary masters, pulp, young writers. We will look at writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Matt Sumell, Dan Brown, Stephen King, George Saunders, Sidney Sheldon, Maile Meloy, Lesley Nneka Arimah. We will read them all very seriously, and try to take them apart. We will discuss what makes them good, what makes them bad. We will examine how they adhere to the rules, all the writing advice we have heard and read, and how they subvert them. We will consume them all, digest, and put what we learn to use in our own writing. Oh yes, we will write. We’ll take each day’s lesson, make exercises from both the bad, and the good, and try to craft a piece of fiction out of it. By the end of our two weeks together, we will have started to form our own singular ideas for fiction. By the end of our two weeks together, we will have started to form our own new rules for ourselves.

Adeniyi Ademoroti is a fiction writer from Lagos, Nigeria. He’s an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his work has appeared in The Southern Review, AGNI and Hobart.




The fee for this course, which includes the fee for the 2-week session of the Summer Residential Program, is $2,500. 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 $100 cancellation fee will be deducted from your refund. Thereafter no refunds are available. 




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