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!

Upcoming Topics and Dates  

“I Hold Surprise in High Regard”: Craft & Creative Power of Extended Metaphor with Tara Labovich— Sat, Jul 20, at 10 AM – 12 PM

Put Your Book in its Place: Writing locations that sing with Chloe Angyal — Sat, Aug 24, at 10 AM – 12 PM

TBA — Sat, Sept 21 at 10 AM – 12 PM

TBA — Sat, Oct at 19 AM – 12 PM

TBA – Sat, Nov 11 at 10 AM – 12 PM

Writing Resources

Past topics:  Utilizing Your Influences to Create Fresh Ideas, Storytelling as Advocacy, Generating Story Ideas Using Random Elements, Construct A Story with Screenwriting Techniques, New Perspectives for Fuller Worldbuilding, Using Physical Descriptions to Create Resonant & Distinct Characters, Dreamcraft: Harnessing Dreams for Inspiration and Meaning, Beauty Holding Pain: Using Juxtaposition to Ground Your Writing, Creating Characters the Ted Lasso Way, Building and Breaking: Conflict with Romance Author Denise Williams, Engineering Surprise for Writers & Their Readers with Poet Jennifer L. Knox, Take a Note From T. Kingfisher Works to Draft Fresher Retellings, Writing the Six-Minute Memoir with Mary Helen Stefaniak, Using Magical Elements to Create Emotional Realism, Expand Your Creative Process With Radical Revision, Make Your Sentences Sing: A Workshop on Grammar, Building the Reader’s Imagination through Concrete Language with Joe Milan Jr, Eavesdropping Strategies for Better Dialogue