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Get Dusty! Fiction Writing with Anna Polonyi (Spring 2022) is a Course

Get Dusty! Fiction Writing with Anna Polonyi (Spring 2022)


$475 Enroll

Full course description

Please note that there is a separate application process for this course. If you have not been accepted into this course by the Iowa Young Writers' Studio you are not eligible to enroll.


“It is a good deal easier for most people to state an abstract idea than to describe and thus re-create some object they actually see,” the short story writer Flannery O’Connor once said. “But the world of the fiction writer is full of matter… fiction is about everything human and we are made of dust, and if you scorn getting yourself dusty, then you shouldn’t write fiction.” This course is about getting dusty. With a global pandemic that has drastically reduced the scope of our physical activities, it's crucial for young writers to hone their most precious tools: the five senses. Hands-on observatories will be a core feature of this class: you’ll do fieldwork exploring each sense, and discuss strategies for how best to render that sense on the page, with examples from successful fiction and playful experiments in your own writing. We’ll be using sight to discuss character, sound to think about dialogue, smells to look at setting, taste and touch to gain insight into tension and point-of-view. You’ll come out of this course with craft tools to discuss fiction, several pieces of original writing, a daily writing practice to rely on, and a method for giving constructive feedback to your peers.

This online course is primarily asynchronous, meaning that students can complete the assignments and post in the discussion forums on their own schedules in their free time. It is important to note that even though students will be able to do the assignments on their own schedules, at any hour of the day or night, they will have to meet weekly deadlines. There may be some live classes only if all students in the class are able to attend. Because students who take these courses live all over the world, in many different time zones, and have complex daily schedules, live classes are not always possible. 


Anna Polonyi is a trilingual writer interested in obscure chapters of history. Before pursuing her M.F.A. in fiction with the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she worked as a news reporter in Paris, France. Her bylines include the International New York Times, Foreign Policy and the French public radio. She studied History and Literature at Harvard University. She has published Wayword, a chapbook of poems, and has taught workshops on a sailboat off the coast of Denmark, a field station in the Great Plains and a festival in Kazakhstan. She is currently at work on a memoir about growing up as a Third Culture Kid. She lives in Paris, France.




The fee for this course is $475. 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: A $100 cancellation fee will be applied to refunds for cancellations received by Monday, January 3, 2022. Thereafter, no refunds are available. 



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