The first pages of a novel introduce not only the world you’ve created, but also your writerly voice and eye. In this workshop, we’ll spend the first part of each class considering the beginnings of both classic and contemporary novels, to begin to get a sense of the range of strategies available to us. But the bulk of our time will be spent discussing your original work: each participant will present the first 10-15 pages of a novel in progress. My hope is that this class will be helpful to you no matter where you are in your book, whether you’ve gotten as far as the first fifteen pages, or you have a full draft you’re getting ready to submit to agents. Our goal will be to end the week with a new sense of the possibilities and potential in our work.
Garth Greenwell is the author of the novel What Belongs to You, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. A New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice,” it was named a best book of 2016 by National Public Radio and by over 50 publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Publishers Weekly, and The Paris Review. It is being translated into ten languages. Greenwell’s short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, A Public Space, VICE, and elsewhere, and he has contributed nonfiction to The New Yorker, The London Review of Books, The New York Times, and The Atlantic. He holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow. He lives in Iowa City.