Basic Info
  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Essay
  • Short Story
  • Multi-Genre/Genre-Bender

You’ve finally carved out some time in your life to write. You have great ideas, maybe even a new computer. But when you sit down to write, your muse refuses to speak. Or worse, the muse gets you started, and then disappears for weeks at a time. Should you give up? Move on to a different project? Are you just not talented enough? Or is there some way to coax your muse back?

This course will be a fun mix of creative exercises, mini-lectures, and discussion, all aimed at pampering your muse. We will study the habits of great authors and the feeling of being “in the zone”—those rare and delicious moments when words magically seem to flow. Most importantly, we’ll experiment with ways to get you in the zone more often. Topics will include writer’s block, starting new work, dealing with roadblocks, and bringing your most creative self to your writing time. You will get the chance to share brand new writing with your classmates. The exercises might turn into the beginnings of stories or essays, or overlap with projects you have in the works. We will have fun, and entice our muses back on the job.

June Melby


June Melby is the author of My Family and Other Hazards (Henry Holt & Co., 2014), a memoir about a miniature golf course her family ran for 30 years. Her work has appeared in Fugue, The Utne Reader, Water~Stone Review, Versal, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, National Lampoon Magazine, and The LA Weekly, among others. As a spoken-word artist she has been featured both in the U.S. and internationally. She holds an M.F.A. from The University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program.