We Wanted to Be Writers is a rollicking and insightful blend of interviews, commentary, advice, gossip, anecdotes, analyses, history, and asides with 30 graduates and teachers at the now legendary Iowa Writers' Workshop between 1974 and 1978. Among the talents that emerged in those years—writing, passionately jousting, criticizing, drinking, and debating in the classrooms and barrooms of Iowa City—were the young versions of writers who became John Irving, Jane Smiley, T.C. Boyle, Michelle Huneven, Allan Gurganus, Sandra Cisneros, Jayne Anne Phillips, Jennie Fields, Joy Harjo, Joe Haldeman, and many others. We Wanted to Be Writers is chock full of insights and a treasure trove of inspiration for all writers, readers, history lovers, and anyone who ever "wanted to be a writer."
Eric gives an overview of the book:
One goal in assembling this book has been to provide a compendium of reflections we wish we'd had before we arrived naked in Iowa City, then ventured out two years later to try to keep writing, while figuring out how to pay the rent. Patterns emerge in the interviews, especially about the creative process, and how not to get in its way.
I'm a journalist, editor, and occasional novelist. My sixth non-fiction book, We Wanted to be Writers: Life, Love, and Literature at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, was released August 1, 2011. It's a series of conversations about writing, the creative process, the lit...