At the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, you will choose a single Core Course of study—Poetry, Fiction, or Creative Writing (a survey that includes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction)—as your focus for the two weeks of the program.
After you’re accepted to the program, you’ll have the opportunity to look over several course descriptions and pick one depending on what, and with whom, you would like to study.
The Poetry course will explore voice, image, metaphor, line, language, and other aspects of this most condensed form. If you love writing poetry and want to focus on it exclusively and intensely, with a disciple’s devotion, in a small tribe of fellow poets, this is the course for you.
If the short story or novel is your thing, then consider the Fiction course. By focusing on challenges particular to fiction, such as establishing and deepening characters, writing dialogue, using stream of consciousness and interior monologue, working with 1st and 3rd and multiple points of view, managing plot and the passage of time, and creating a vivid setting, this course will help aspiring fiction writers gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies of the genre and make huge strides in their craft.
Because of the scope of the class, which spans the three major genres of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, the Creative Writing course concentrates on those elements of writing that are universal: language, image, voice/point of view, structure/story, setting, character. The Creative Writing course is a great choice for you if your work already bridges multiple genres or if you want the freedom to explore new forms. Sometimes Creative Writing courses are weighted toward one particular genre or theme—science fiction and fantasy, for instance—to give students the opportunity to deepen their focus.