The Writers Lab

Where Creative Writers Can Experiment With Craft In Joyful Community

Struggling with dialogue? Fascinated by worldbuilding or wondering how your favorite author makes such relatable characters? At the Writers Lab, you can explore these questions and more! During each meeting, a new host will help us target a specific element of creative writing such as word choice, idea generation, or pacing. We’ll do an activity, discuss our approaches, and write quietly for a little bit. There’s no need to prepare anything ahead of time — we’ll explore craft together in the moment from a place of joy and experimentation. 

Writers of all genres, ages, and skill levels are welcome! Feel free to attend all sessions or drop in for the topics that interest you.  If you have any questions, please email

Join Dog-Eared Books and ISU’s Creative Writing & Environment MFA program for a creative writing experiment 10 am – 12 pm one Saturday a month.

Bring your laptop or a notebook for writing in!

2023 Topics and Dates

Utilizing Your Influences to Create Fresh Ideas — Sat, Jan 21, at 10 AM – 12 PM

Storytelling as Advocacy — Sat, Feb 4, at 10 AM – 12 PM

Generating Story Ideas Using Random Elements — Sat, Feb 18, at 10 AM – 12 PM

Construct A Story with Screenwriting Techniques — Sat, Mar 4, at 10 AM – 12 PM

New Perspectives for Fuller Worldbuilding — Sat, March 18, at 10 AM – 12 PM

Using Physical Descriptions to Create Resonant & Distinct Characters — Sat, April 1, at 10 AM – 12 PM

Dreamcraft: Harnessing Dreams for Inspiration and Meaning — Sat, April 15, at 10 AM – 12 PM

Beauty Holding Pain: Using Juxtaposition to Ground Your Writing — Sat, May 20, at 10 AM – 12 PM

Creating Characters the Ted Lasso Way — Sat, June 17, at 10 AM – 12 PM

Building and Breaking: Conflict with Romance Author Denise Williams — Sat, Jul 22, at 10 AM – 12 PM

Engineering Surprise for Writers & Their Readers with Poet Jennifer L. Knox — Sat, Aug 26, at 1 – 3 PM

Take a Note From T. Kingfisher Works to Draft Fresher Retellings — Sat, Sept 16 at 10 AM – 12 PM

TBA — Sat, Oct at 10 AM – 12 PM

Writing the Six-Minute Memoir with Mary Helen Stefaniak – Sat, Nov 11 at 10 AM – 12 PM

Writing Resources