NWP Master Classes

November 4, 2017 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
201 Becker (BCSB), University of Iowa

MFA students in the Nonfiction Writing Program will offer two-hour Master Classes focused on writing craft on October 28th and November 4th. These free courses are open to undergraduate writers and the wider community. To participate, interested students can register for classes online at https://nwpmasterclassesfall2017.eventbrite.com.



Is It Over Already?? Creating Heroes and Villains You Never Want to Leave

Saturday, November 4th, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 201 BECKER

Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character? What drew you into them? What elicited such strong feelings? We will “close-read” novel and film excerpts to learn how writers from contemporary romantic comedy, literary fiction, and graphic fiction build characters we love to hate or hate to love. We will look to Tia Williams’ The Perfect Find, Jorge Luis Borges’ La Muerte y la Brujula (Death and the Compass), and Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke among others as our guides. We will learn how to build complex character profiles that move beyond biography to explore our character’s attitudes toward their environment and what motivates their relationships and behaviors. By discerning the most memorable character attributes, we will learn how to develop a character in a single sentence. You will leave this master class having written a convincing and engaging character arc in just two short pages.

Instructors: Tiffany Tucker and Aracely Mondragon are MFA candidates in the Nonfiction Writing Program. Tiffany writes tragic comedies about growing up on Chicago’s South Side and Aracely writes about queer xicanidad and journeys home.


Painting with Words: Writing about Visual Art

Inside Every Critic Is an Artist…Discover Yours Here!

Saturday, November 4th, 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m., 201 BECKER

Have you ever stood in front of a work of art and felt moved to create art of your own? Whether you feel moved to critique, create anew, or both, you may face the conundrum: how to translate images into words? This tricky business of translation has prompted some of the best art writing across time, from journalistic art criticism to vivid formal experiments with typography. This masterclass will guide you in the process of using images for inspiration, and will encourage you to think critically about the way you see, and read, the world around you. You will leave with sample excerpts from writers, three new pieces of your own writing, and an introduction to the world of contemporary art publications, with a template of do’s and don’ts for pitches.

Instructor: M.K. Brake is a poet and essayist; she holds an MFA in Poetry from Louisiana State University and is currently pursuing an MFA in nonfiction from Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. She is the author of The Taxidermist’s Girl (Dancing Girl Press, 2016).


Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Corey Campbell in advance at corey-campbell@uiowa.edu.