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Advanced Nonfiction Seminar deadline extended to April 5, 2014

15 applicants representing a broad geographic range will be selected to participate in the seminar.
15 applicants representing a broad geographic range will be selected to participate in the seminar.

The idea of nonfiction is simple: tell the truth. But as anyone who has ever attempted it knows, telling the truth can be a lot more complicated than it looks. How do you write a scene if you can’t remember exactly what everyone said? How do you spend only a paragraph describing a character you’ve known for 30 years? How do you pace a story that has spanned your entire life?

Fifteen nonfiction writers selected from around the world will have an opportunity to explore these questions and others when the International Writing Program's newest Distance Learning course, an Advanced Nonfiction Seminar taught by nonfiction writer Cutter Wood, begins in early May 2014.

Instructor Cutter Wood is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.
Instructor Cutter Wood is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.

"Best professor I’ve ever had," tweeted Samantha Abrams, after Wednesday's announcement that the deadline for applications to the seminar to be taught by Wood had been extended to April 5, 2014 to allow more international writers time to apply.

Applications to the course (including a CV, statement of purpose, and three-page nonfiction writing sample) may be submitted electronically free of charge.

Writers selected to participate in the free course will meet online in a live video classroom once a week for eight weeks (access to a computer with a webcam and a stable internet connection are required) to explore in detail both how nonfiction is crafted and the forms it can take, with the essential goal to understand the literary techniques employed by nonfiction writers as well as the vast array of nonfiction produced by these techniques. Instructor Cutter Wood will encourage students to examine short works of nonfiction from around the world, across the genre and throughout history. "We’ll be reading a few canonical authors such as Montaigne and Sei Shonagon, as well as more contemporary writers like Joan Didion, Julio Cortázar, and Eliot Weinberger, and we’ll use these works as the basis for our own short weekly writing experiments," Wood explained. Students will finish the course by using the techniques they’ve learned to produce their own full-length work of nonfiction.

IWP Distance Learning offers several free writing-related Open-Application Courses and MOOCs each year.
IWP Distance Learning offers several free writing-related Open-Application Courses and MOOCs each year.

By extending the application period by one week (originally applications were to be due March 29, 2014), the IWP hopes to encourage a greater geographic diversity among the applicant pool. 387 writers from 49 countries and representing every continent except Antarctica applied to participate in the previous open-application course, an Advanced Fiction Seminar offered by IWP in fall 2013.

To learn more about IWP's Distance Learning opportunities, visit: http://iwp.uiowa.edu/iwp-courses/distance-learning-courses

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