Aspiring to be a writer is a lot like wanting to believe in political bipartisanship, the tooth fairy and God (wait, I mean … ) — eventually someone will tell you to grow up, find a job and take your head out of our ass. But there are actually people out there who became writers, and some of America's best wordsmiths have found their careers through the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Iowa City, home of the legendary workshop, is filled with myths of great writers in their younger days, such as Denis Johnson's mystic heroin binges and Raymond Carver's dine-and-ditches. And, well, drama knows how to follow writers. For a more intimate look at Iowa from 1974 to '78, check out the new book We Wanted to Be Writers: Life, Love and Literature at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Eric Olsen, Glenn Schaeffer and Michelle Huneven will discuss the book, which sheds insight on personalities, love and barroom literary discussions. The book is filled with interviews from some of our nation's best authors, including John Irving, Jane Smiley and USC's own T.C. Boyle. Maybe this book will help ease the pain of all the rejections the program has doled out to aspiring writers over the years. But I doubt it. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Thurs, Oct 20, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 659-3110,

Thu., Oct. 20, 7 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly