Basic Info
  • Fiction
  • Novel

National Novel Writing Month, move over: July is the new November. While we may not actually write an entire novel this week, we will create a skeleton of a novel that we can take home to develop and finish. In our workshop, we will share plot outlines, write or revise first chapters, write and share climactic scenes, and come up with possible endings. We will discuss various elements of the novel, such as plot, pacing, characterization, point of view, dialogue, and the dance between narration and dramatization. Writers will leave the week with a strong plot outline, a beginning, middle, and end, and the tools to finish a novel.

This course is for intermediate and advanced writers who can come to Iowa City with a (rough) plot outline. Some writers may be at the point of contemplating a novel; others may have already written a draft: all are welcome. After we share our outlines, the focus the rest of the week will be on generating new material.

Kelly Dwyer


Kelly Dwyer is the author of two novels, Self-Portrait with Ghosts and The Tracks of Angels, two children’s books, and a number of short plays. She is currently teaching creative writing and doing freelance manuscript editing, as well as working on her own writing. Current projects include a novel, travel writing, and plays and flash fiction based on the Disney princesses at middle age. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Oberlin College, Kelly grew up in California and lives in Wisconsin with her husband, daughter, and their pug. Feel free to contact Kelly via