History, Imagination and Truth

  • November 2, 2018 - November 4, 2018
  • 332 E Davenport St
  • Iowa City, IA 52245
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Whether it’s Erik Larson taking us to the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago in “The Devil in the White City,” or E. L. Doctorow somehow getting us inside the mind of General Sherman as he marches through Georgia to the sea in his novel “The March,” or Barbara Kingsolver bringing a version of her own missionary father to fictional life in “The Poisonwood Bible,” a healthy balance of imagination and history seems to be required. Give us too much history—all those fascinating facts you discovered while researching your family tree—and the life of your story may end up crushed under the weight of it all. Use too much imagination, without due respect for the real-world details, and your story may fail to convince the reader. We need to do our research, and then we need to give ourselves permission to imagine the world we’ve been studying and the characters we want to bring to life in our stories. 

In this course led by Mary Helen Stefaniak, participants will start by looking carefully at some selections by writers who succeed at bringing historical persons, places, and real-life situations to new life in their fictional or nonfictional worlds. Then they’ll write themselves into the characters as they encounter specific situations within the world re-created for them.

Workshop times:
Friday, November 2nd, 6:00pm-7:30pm
Saturday, November 3rd, 9:30am-3:30pm
Sunday, November 4th, 9:30am-3:30pm

  • Presented By: Iowa Writers' House
  • Dates: November 2, 2018 - November 4, 2018
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Location: Iowa Writers' House
  • Address: 332 E Davenport St
  • Time: 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
  • Price: $265
History, Imagination and Truth
  • 332 E Davenport St
  • Iowa City, IA 52245
  • November 2, 2018 - November 4, 2018
  • Iowa Writers' House
  • $265
  • Recurring daily