2013 Iowa Summer Writing Festival is upcoming. June and July in Iowa City on the campus of the University of Iowa.
Last summer several from our Ankeny Writers Group attended and report very beneficial learning.
Check out the website. Last summer I attended a weekend seminar with Tony Varallo from College of Charleston where he is the editor of the university's literary magazine Crazy Horse. I recommend him for aspiring short story writers.
I plan to go this summer. Maybe do a week.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I listened to the full hour program about the history of the Iowa Writers Workshop. Learned a lot. Made me recommit to attend next summer - maybe a full week.
The oldest creative writing program in the country, and still regarded the best. More than forty Pulitzer Prize winners. North America's only UNESCO 'City of Literature'. How did the midwestern college town of Iowa City, Iowa become the capital of creative writing in America? It’s an unlikely story of literary ambition, academic innovation, and a promising young poet who became a cultural entrepreneur. Featuring scholars, historians and artists, interwoven with noted authors discussing the writing life in ways hilarious and profound, City of Literature tells the story of a community of writers while providing a window into the creative process itself.Full program HERE
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
"So really, it was a lot of fun, and it also wasn't very different from writing my own memoir. When you're writing a memoir the trick, I think, is to treat yourself as a character — to distance yourself from yourself. You write about yourself in the first person, but you think about yourself in the third person. That's the only way you can gain any perspective, any clarity, and keep the dogs of narcissism at bay. And then when you're writing someone else's memoir, you do just the opposite. You try and inhabit their skin, and even though you're thinking third person, you're writing first person, so the processes are mirror images of each other, but they seem very simpatico." In an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.J.R. Moehringer is the best-selling author of The Tender Bar. In 2000, he won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for his work at the Los Angeles Times.
According the NPR, J.R. Moehringer new book Sutton provides a clever imagining of the surprise pardon of Willie Sutton, one of the most notorious criminals in American history. It traces the remarkable life of this mysterious man, who was known to police as the Babe Ruth of Bank Robbers, and his doomed, dangerous romance with his first love. Excerpt.
Monday, September 24, 2012
- Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
- Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
- Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
- If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.
- Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.
- If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.
- by Maria Popova as discovered in a 1975 interview in Paris Review