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Towards the Rapids: Fiction Writing with Gwyneth Kelly (online Session 1 22) is a Course

Towards the Rapids: Fiction Writing with Gwyneth Kelly (online Session 1 22)

Self-paced

$575 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 online Summer Residential Program you are not eligible to enroll.


Fiction Writing with Gwyneth Kelly: Towards the Rapids

A girl is walking through the woods to her grandmother’s house. Her mother has told her to not—under any circumstances!!!—speak to any strangers along the way. So she doesn’t . The end. Or maybe a girl is walking through the woods to her grandmother’s house. Her mother has told her to not—under any circumstances!!!—speak to any strangers along the way. But! She meets a super-hot wolf. He’s pretty big and pretty bad, but he seems to really see her in a way that guys at school don’t, you know? So when he asks her where she’s going, she tells him. When he asks her about her grandmother’s home security, she tells him all about that, too, because it’s so cute that he cares. Does one of these make a more thrilling story? The writer George Saunders says that a tale as simple as Little Red Riding Hood shows why writers must “steer towards the rapids.” According to Saunders, “a story is a thing that is full of dozens of crossroads moments, and if we make a habit of first, noticing these, and, second, steering toward the choice that gives off incrementally more power (or light, or heat, or throws open other interesting doors, etc.), this will, over the long haul, make the story more unique, more like itself, more incendiary.” In this course, we learn how to identify these crossroads moments and strengthen them in our own work. If you’ve ever struggled with how to make things happen in your stories, or are interested in suspense or plotting, this course is for you. We’ll use stories by writers such as Edwidge Danticat, Gish Jen, Lauren Groff, Wells Tower, and Mohsin Hamid as starting points for our discussions of point of view, style, setting, time, dialogue, plot, and the structure of all things. We’ll also write, write, write! We’ll do generative exercises, submit our own pieces for workshop, and work on developing characters who are layered and real—characters who will feel compelled to steer themselves to the rapids, and over them.

Gwyneth Kelly is a writer from Silver Spring, Maryland. She studied at Northwestern University and University College London before getting her MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop; she was also a 2020 University of Iowa Writers’ Room Fellow for television writing. Her work, which has appeared in the Barcelona Review, The Washington Post, The American Scholar, and The New Republic, features lots of weird history, sisters, ghosts, and outlaws, and she is a proud member of the Writers Guild of America.

 

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. 

 

QUESTIONS?

 

Contact the Iowa Young Writers' Studio: iyws@uiowa.edu.