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Voices in Our Heads / Voices on the Page: Fiction Writing with Carl Napolitano (online Session 2 22) is a Course

Voices in Our Heads / Voices on the Page: Fiction Writing with Carl Napolitano (online Session 2 22)


$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 Carl Napolitano: Voices in Our Heads / Voices on the Page

As writers, we often hear and talk about ‘voice.’ Whether it’s the colloquial or formal voice of a narrator, or contrasting voices of multiple narrators within one novel, or the distinctive voice of an author across their works, or the matter of “finding your voice” as a beginning writer, voice is everywhere in fiction, but what is it exactly? If character and setting are analogous to the subjects of a painting, and plot to the way those subjects are arranged in the composition, and individual words to the pigments mixed on the palette, voice might be described as the manner in which the paint itself is applied to the surface of the canvas. Which is to say that voice is a peculiar “element” of fiction writing, one that exists at the intersection of many other elements. Diction & syntax, point of view (POV) & character, and even structure all inform and are formed by a story’s voice. Storytelling as an art started as an oral tradition. As writers, we aim to arrange words on a page in such a way that, even though they are physically disembodied and unspoken, they still resonate in our readers’ minds with the animated quality and immediacy of a living storyteller. In this course, we will focus on the art of writing short stories through the lens of voice. We will explore the many facets and components of voice by reading stories written by contemporary authors working in both realist and non-realist traditions. We will be analyzing and discussing these stories on a craft and style level, learning what makes the voices of their narrators so compelling, convincing, and vital. From these discussions, I will give you writing exercises and prompts for you to play with and strengthen your own grasp of voice. In workshop, you will read and respond to stories written by your peers, giving thoughtful and generous feedback and criticism to help each other grow as writers. Together we will, hopefully, to some capacity, come to better understand voice in fiction—how it’s created, how we listen for it, how it moves us.

Carl Napolitano is a writer, ceramicist/visual artist, and drag performer from Little Rock, Arkansas. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Oxford American, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. When not writing, he works at a library and bothers his cat, Sir—or Sir bothers him. He often wonders why he’s used up entirely too much of his brain space on drag queens and Pokémon instead of something more useful. Oh well!




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. 




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