Kim Barnes’ Novel Club at University of Idaho

Kim Barnes’ Novel Club at University of Idaho


Last week, I talked to Kim Barnes, who teaches a novel-writing course. This week, I’m talking to students who’ve taken (or are about to take) that course at the University of Idaho, a program which regularly offers a year-long novel workshop capped at six students.

Did you need this course in order to write a novel? If it hadn’t been offered, or if you’d ended up at a different program, would you have written your novel anyway?

Anesa: The pages I produced for Novel Workshop became part of the third novel I’ve written (the previous two still unpublished but dreaming of resurrection). So it’s likely I would’ve written the novel I recently completed even without the support and structure of workshop. It also would probably have been a longer and more agonizing process.

Annie: I came to the program with a novel in mind, and a short start to it, but without this class I think it would have taken me 15 years to actually write it. Continue reading

Kim Barnes: Learn the Craft, Trust the Process

CW Programs Teaching Writing

Recently, a former student emailed to say he’d been accepted into a few MFA programs, but ultimately, he’d decided on the University of Idaho. When I asked him what made the difference, he cited the beauty of the location, the full funding. “And,” he said, “Kim Barnes has created a multi-semester novel workshop, and I think it sounds fantastic.”

I knew this was one person I definitely needed to talk to. So I emailed her out of the blue and asked her if she would mind sharing this experience with the readers of my blog. She was kind enough to say yes. Continue reading